Beauden and Jordie Barrett starred as the Hurricanes came from behind to beat the Blues 22-12 in Auckland on Friday.
The Blues and the Hurricanes went blow for blow in a high-octane encounter, but the visitors’ superior defence eventually won the day.
The hosts started off brightly and seemed to have the bulk of the possession as they spent most of the time in the Hurricanes half. And that early dominance paid off when scrumhalf Sam Nock crashed over to put them in the lead.
However, the Hurricanes came back strongly in the second quarter to wrestle back the ascendancy. They struck twice with converted tries from backs Ben Lam and Jordie Barrett to hit the front at half-time.
😮 Ben Lam…Can anyone stop him?
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) May 10, 2019
The same pattern followed in the second half, with the Blues controlling the possession and territory stakes, but it would all be undone by individual brilliance from within the Hurricanes’ ranks. The Canes were forced to defend for large parts of the half. While they conceded a yellow card for repeated infringements, they didn’t let the Blues through in that period.
The Blues would get rewarded, albeit in a contentious manner, when flank Dalton Papali’i charged at the line from 10m out. The try was referred to the TMO to check if Papali’i had stepped into touch, but there was no clear evidence, and the try stood.
With a two-point difference, the game was nicely poised heading into the final 15 minutes. But the Barrett brothers combined to see the Hurricanes home. Beauden Barrett read the play beautifully to intercept a wild pass and score against the run of play, before Jordie Barrett punted a long range penalty to seal the win.
Blues – Tries: Sam Nock, Dalton Papali’i. Conversion: Harry Plummer.
Hurricanes – Tries: Ben Lam, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2). Penalty: Jordie Barrett.
Blues – 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tanielu Tele’a, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (cc), 6 Dalton Papalii, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (cc), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Subs: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Scott Scrafton, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Otere Black, 23 Matt Duffie.
Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith
Subs:16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 James Marshall, 23 Chase Tiatia.
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images