The Hurricanes prevailed in a 17-try shootout blighted by more than 50 missed tackles to beat the Waratahs 64-48 at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
This marked the Waratahs’ ninth straight loss, as they scored seven tries but conceded 10. It was the highest aggregate score ever between the two teams and the most points the Wellington-based side have scored against them.
“Didn’t expect that scoreline,” said Hurricanes skipper Dane Coles. “We got some good tries but our defence needs some work.”
All Blacks finisher Julian Savea scored the opener after just three minutes in a well-executed move from a lineout.
But in a confidence-booster the Waratahs struck straight back with Alex Newsome breaching the defence.
It was end-to-end action and Billy Proctor added a second try for the visitors after an electric counter-attack, only for the Waratahs to reply with Angus Bell crossing.
Ben Donaldson nailed a penalty for the home side to put them in front before Jordie Barrett then Coles and Proctor scored three more quick tries as the Hurricanes took control, going to the break 33-24 ahead.
In a breathless second half, Savea, Brayden Iose, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Asafo Aumua and Pepesana Patafilo all bagged tries for the visitors with Harry Johnson-Holmes, Lachie Swinton and Jack Maddocks dotting down for the Waratahs.