Hurricanes fight back to beat NSW Waratahs 18-22 in a see-sawing Super Rugby Pacific match at a packed Leichhardt Oval, Sydney.
Ardie Savea scored a late try for the Hurricanes to beat the NSW Waratahs in this strange Trans-Tasman contest.
Savea inspired his men to a comeback victory over the wasteful Waratahs through sheer force of his will.
The number eight scored and set up his team’s other tries to claim an important win down under.
Savea beat four defenders from nine carries while making the team’s second-most tackles (12).
The Hurricanes fought back from a 15-point halftime deficit to claim an important Super Rugby Pacific victory in the Sydney suburbs.
Jason Holland’s charges scored 15 unanswered points after the break to level before killing the game with his skipper’s late score.
Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco and Dylan Pietsch dotted down for the Australians in the first stanza; however, they could not find a way over in the second.
The Tahs only managed three points in the second half, while giving up 22.
Tane Edmed landed one penalty and conversion apiece in an off-day from the tee. Ben Donaldson came off the bench and took over kicking duties.
Donaldson added a 68th-minute goal to edge the NSW Waratahs back in front.
But Darren Coleman’s side faded in the ultimate “game of two halves” in Sydney.
Tevita Mafileo and Bailyn Sullivan scored for the New Zealanders, who dug deep to find a way to win from adversity.
Jordy Barrett also had a poor day from the tee, kicking one penalty and two conversions for seven points.
Captain Savea assisted Mafileo and Sullivan’s scores in another quality performance.
After a chastening first half, the Hurricanes’ front row found their mojo, scoring from close range and winning a scrum penalty soon after halftime.
Mafileo crashed over to put his side on the board. Barrett converted to make it an eight-point game.
Lalakai Foketi’s moment of madness led to a scrum to the visitors after the hosts had won a turnover penalty on their 22.
A series of pressure penalties from a scrum and lineout led saw Barrett reduce the score 15-10 after 56 minutes.
Edmed sliced a penalty to keep the scores the same; however, Sullivan sped away after some good work by Aidan Morgan, Barrett, and Ardie Savea.
Barrett missed, but the momentum was with the Wellington men.
Izaia Perese left the field, but Donaldson put his team ahead with less than 12 minutes remaining.
Ardie Savea had the final say when he crashed over from close range with minutes to play.
Barrett converted to give his side a four-point lead, one they did not cede.
Paddy Ryan was red-carded at the death, but the Tahs managed to hang on to the losing bonus point.
Still, the Australians will be disappointed to let this result slip, especially after their heroics against the Crusaders at the end of April.
The Waratahs dominated the first half off the back of a dominant scrum as the Hurricanes backpedalled
Warren-Vosayaco and Pietsch both crossed as New South Wales kept the Wellington side scoreless.
Coleman’s side really should have had more points for their dominance, not to mention not taking easy shots at goal.
Edmed also missed a conversion.
The first quarter saw the home team have an extraordinary 91% possession and 96% territory as they camped inside the visitor’s 22.
The home team’s front row was as dominant as any since South Africa dismantled England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final in Tokyo.
Such was Archer Holz and Angus Bell’s influence on the set-piece, that the Canes conceded five scrum penalties in the first stanza alone.
Holland brought on Owen Franks for Tyrel Lomax and Tevita Mafileo for Xavier Numia seven minutes before halftime.
The Hurricanes conceded six penalties and eight turnovers as they drew a blank.
Dane Coles came on for Asafo Aumua during the break.
Aumua was lucky to escape a card when hit Alex Newsome high soon after kick-off.
For some reason, the referee and TMO thought the hit was legal and not dangerous
The hooker stays on the field, but another penalty was punished as Edmed opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
New South Wales squandered multiple chances before striking twice off the back of their forwards’ hard work
Perese’s linebreak kick-started another sustained attack inside the Hurricanes’ 22.
A knock on by Jamie Booth, trying to rip the ball out of an NSW hand, gave the Waratahs an attacking scrum.
A bulldozing Tahs’ scrum ended with another penalty inside the Canes’ 22.
Superb maul defending by the Kiwis stopped the drive immediately; however, the visitors gave away another penalty.
Jake Gordon opted for a scrum this time.
Three penalties and a free-kick for the home team during the series ended with Dylan Pietsch taking Edmed’s flat skip-pass to slide over untouched.
The would-be try came from sustained set-piece pressure as the NSW scrum walked the Canes backwards.
However, Gordon knocked the ball back into the scrum for a Hurricanes put in.
Another penalty from a scrum after Edmed combined with Lalakai Foketi to kick-start another attack.
Gordon, who was pulled over the line, though he had scored, the ref never awarded him the five. NSW got another scrum on the Canes’ line.
Coleman’s side needed to make their superiority count because the Kiwis would get back into this contest.
Finally, their superiority turned into points. Another penalty advantage was not needed because Warren-Vosayaco controlled the ball at the back of the scrum as it wheeled left.
The number eight bided his time before picking up and diving over the chalk.
Edmed slotted the kick to open up a two-score lead.
Du’Plessis Kirifi had the ball stripped out of his hands as he attempted to score under the posts.
Just before the break, Charlie Gamble unleashed Perese down the sideline.
The 24-year-old playmaker cut inside the cover defence, and as he was hit by Booth and Josh Moorby.
Before hitting the turf, Perese made an audacious back-door offload to the supporting Pietsch to score.
Edmed could not convert. The Tahs went into halftime with a 15-point lead after Jordy Barrett’s last-ditch penalty rebounded off the righthand post.
The Hurricanes find their rhythm as Waratahs begin the wilt after the interval
The Kiwis came out flying after the break. They dominated the set-pieces as the Aussie’s discipline began to wane.
Barrett converted Mafileo’s try and added a penalty, while Edmed missed.
It proved costly because Sullivan collected Ardie Savea’s long pass, and raced down the sideline to level on the hour.
Barrett, instrumental in the try along with Morgan, could not convert.
Donaldson kicked a late goal, but Savea capped another impressive display with a late dagger.
Ryan took out Barrett after another scrum penalty and put the Tahs on the backfoot.
Jed Holloway’s mistake with the goal-line drop-out ended in a fiasco as the ball went out behind the dead-ball line.
Final Score: Waratahs 18 (15) Hurricanes 22 (0)
Tries – Warren-Vosayaco, Pietsch
Pen – Edmed, Donaldson
Con – Edmed
Cards – Ryan (Red, 77′)
Tries – Mafileo, Sullivan, A. Savea
Pen – J. Barrett
Con – J. Barrett (2)
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Damon Murphy
TMO: James Leckie
Waratahs: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Will Harris, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Archer Holz, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Teterta Faulkner, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Douglas, 20 Langi Gleeson, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Triston Reilly.
Hurricanes: 15 Josh Moorby, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Aidan Morgan, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 TK Howden, 5 Justin Sangster, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Caleb Delany, 21 Cameron Roigard, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Billy Proctor.