Hurricanes stop Beauden Barrett in his tracks. Photosport/Brett Phibbs/INPHO
Super Rugby Aotearoa

Hurricanes stun Blues with late try in Super Rugby Aotearoa thriller

Jordie Barrett upstages big brother Beauden with late conversion to win it for the Hurricanes.


VICTORY FOR THE Hurricanes, revenge for their opening day loss and most importantly of all, in the private battle between two brothers, Jordie had the final word in the Barrett household.

It was that sort of game, the sub-plots almost as interesting as the main storyline. By securing the win, the Hurricanes have kept their hopes of the title alive although the Crusaders – five points clear with a game in hand – remain the likeliest winners of this intriguing competition.

Still, what this game and so many others in this Super Rugby Aotearoa season have shown is that there is an appetite for domestic rugby, local rivalries and intense periods of action. 

You certainly got that here.

It ended in drama. The Blues were leading by five with four minutes left. But then Asafo Aumua powered over the line following a lineout drive to leave Jordie Barrett with the chance to live up to his pre-match hype – when his coach, Jason Holland said he was New Zealand’s No1 full-back.

That’s all well and good until you consider that Beauden Barrett is the occupant of that particular jersey

But when it came to the crunch here, Beauden missed a key conversion on 63 minutes – whereas Jordie nailed his, from close to the touchline, on 77. The crowd sang his name, the brother looked on disconsolate. Not that long ago Beauden could rightly claim to be the best full-back in the world. Some would say he is not even the best in his house now.

dane-coles-and-patrick-tuipulotu Cole and Tuipulotu lead out the sides. Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO Photosport / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO / Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Still he remains a class act – scorer of a fine try on nine minutes – but for all the interest in the Barretts, it has to be remembered that there were 28 other players on the field, too. And the star was Ngani Laumape – scorer of the opening try on four minutes for the Hurricanes.

Beauden Barrett soon replied and by half-time it was 15-15 – the Blues failing to win enough possession in the opening half. “That was a frustration,” said their captain, Patrick Tuipulotu, afterwards. “To be blunt we didn’t turn up.”

Well, they did in the second half, scoring successive tries in a seven-minute period off their line-out - Akira Ioane and Kurt Eklund with the scores. Suddenly they had turned a seven-point deficit into a five-point lead. “Well to just start doing it in the second half, that’s just too late,” said Tuipulotu. “We had to be at it from the off.”

Accordingly, they are now five adrift of the Crusaders, who defeated them last week, with a game more played. The Hurricanes also have three wins from five, this their third win on the bounce, the Crusaders next in their sights. “Nothing is easy in this competition,” said Dane Coles, the Hurricanes co-captain. “It’s intense.”

Certainly this game was, a frantic start leading to two tries in the opening 10 minutes – Beauden Barrett getting one for the Blues, after Laumape had scored a fourth minute opener for the Hurricanes.

Blues openside Dalton Papalii scored his fourth try of the season on 29 minutes – Reed Prinsep replying for the Hurricanes just before half-time.

Coles scored just after the break for the Hurricanes as they moved into a 22-15 lead before the pair of Blues tries in the middle stage of the second half suggested they would prevail. Alas, not. Aumua – then Jordie – had the final say as one Barrett was cheered, the other booed.

Hurricanes 29 (Ngani Laumape, Reed Prinsep, Dane Coles, Asafo Aumua tries; Jordie Barrett 3 cons, pen)
Blues 27 (Beauden Barrett, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Kurt Eklund tries; Otere Black con, pen, Barrett con)

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