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Barrett's penalty edges out Gatland's Chiefs in thrilling Hurricanes win

Jason Holland’s men were trailing by 10 points heading into the final quarter.

A 40-METRE penalty from Jordie Barrett in the 84th minute saw the Hurricanes claim a thrilling 27-24 win over the Chiefs as they overturned a 10-point deficit in the final quarter of their Super Rugby clash in Waikato this morning.

All Black international Barrett nailed his long-range shot with the last action of an entertaining encounter as the Hurricanes, whose head coach is former Munster centre Jason Holland, made the Chiefs’ late lack of discipline show.

Source: SUPER RUGBY/YouTube

The outstanding Barrett provided the scoring pass for the opening try of the game after Hurricanes scrum-half TJ Perenara had made a clean break from a clever lineout play, feeding the ball onto Ngani Laumape, whose loose pass bounce up ideally for 23-year-old Barrett to float his own pass wide left for Ben Lam to score.

Barrett converted but the Chiefs narrowed their lead when Damian McKenzie slotted a penalty, and then the home side nudged in front as flanker Lachlan Boshier – who is enjoying a superb season – powered over from close-range and McKenzie converted.

Holland’s men hit back when out-half Fletcher Smith darted over from a sharp finish from 10 metres out, with Barrett’s second conversion ensuring a 14-10 half-time advantage for the visitors.

But Aaron Cruden’s brilliant offload in the 54th minute freed centre Tumua Manu to rampage home for the Chiefs’ second converted try as the lead once again changed hands. 

A 57th-minute yellow card for Perenara for a high tackle didn’t help the Canes’ cause as the Chiefs shifted further in front with the captain in the sin bin, right wing Shaun Stevenson scything through on the right. McKenzie’s conversion left the Chiefs 24-14 in front going into the final quarter.

The Canes showed their resilience thereafter, though, with Barrett closing the gap with a 36-metre penalty before the forward pack produced a muscular maul try finished by 22-year-old hooker Asafo Aumua in the 71st minute.

From a position to the right of the posts, Barrett held his nerve to level the game with the conversion.

And the Canes fullback again held his nerve with the late, late winning penalty after his team had gone through 36 phases of possession with the clock in the red, Chiefs number eight Pita Gus Sowakula the guilty party with a late tackle to give up the crucial penalty.

Despite the defeat, Gatland’s Chiefs remain top of the New Zealand conference of Super Rugby for now, having won four of their five previous games under the former Wales boss’ guidance.

Holland’s Canes now also have four wins from their opening six games. 

The Crusaders will have the opportunity to nudge in front of the Chiefs when they face the Sunwolves tomorrow.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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