The Hurricanes beat the Blues 23-19 in a thrilling Super Rugby encounter at Eden Park on Friday. The home side applied all the early pressure and after having missed two penalties. Ihaia West opened the scoring with a penalty on 11 minutes.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and finally made use of all their possession and territory as Rene Ranger snuck in brilliantly in the corner, just dotting down before being tackled out of play. West missed the conversion to make the score 8-0 after 22 minutes. The away side struck back straight away on 25 minutes as a line out produced a rolling maul which edged towards the try line where Victor Vito powered over to make the score 8-7.
The Canes then added to the score on the half hour when a line out on halfway saw the ball make its way across the field to Nehe Millner-Skudder. After some quick hands, the winger chipped the ball over the top and the ball bounced perfectly for TJ Perenara to collect the ball and dive over to make the score 12-8. A Beauden Barrett penalty made the score 15-8 going into half-time.
Tana Umaga’s men scored early in the second half when George Moala forced his way over the try line after a rolling maul making the score 15-13. Barrett extended the lead to 18-13 with a penalty on 46 minutes. Perenara scored his second try of the game diving over in the corner after 53 minutes and there was daylight at 23-13 even though Barrett missed the conversion.
Two West penalties brought the Auckland side within touching distance at 23-19 going into the last 10 minutes. The Blues gave everything they had but the Wellington franchise’s impressive defence was not to be broken down and 23-19 was the final score leaving the New Zeland conference perfectly poised with every side on five points.