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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Kaino power can't stop Hurricanes, 'Tahs pack 9 tries into win over Sunwolves in Tokyo

Here’s the Super Rugby you missed while enjoying a well-earned lie-in this morning.

File photo of Kaino, who sprinted 40 metres to score in Wellington this morning.
File photo of Kaino, who sprinted 40 metres to score in Wellington this morning.
Image: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

A DOUBLE FROM lock Vaea Fifita kept the Wellington Hurricanes in touch with the Super Rugby top table when they beat the Auckland Blues 37-27 in the Cake Tin this morning..

Fifita scored the only tries in the second half as the Hurricanes produced a 20-point burst to come from behind to snatch a crucial win.

All Black hooker Dane Coles, returning as captain to Super Rugby after the June internationals against Wales, described the Titanic battle as “like another Test match”.

The Blues set the early pace and by early in the second half they were up 27-17 before the Hurricanes bounced back with Fifita’s tries and a faultless kicking display by Beauden Barrett who finished with 17 points.

Source: SANZAAR/YouTube

“We were guilty in that first half of just playing attack and no defence and in that second half we turned our defence around and got some intent,” Coles said.

The Hurricanes remain third in the New Zealand conference but move to within one point of the Canterbury Crusaders and two behind the Waikato Chiefs.

For the Blues, however, their season is all but over with captain James Parsons blaming a rash of penalties for allowing Barrett to spark the Hurricanes revival.

A little ill-discipline probably cost us in the end and they got up on top of us and then obviously some moments of magic by Vaea Fifita put us on the back foot.

The game opened up during a rollicking 13 minutes in the first half which produced five tries, three to the Blues and two to the Hurricanes. Japanese international Male Sa’u set the game alight when he broke through the Hurricanes defensive wall to put Kara Pryor in for the opening try.

Reggie Goodes levelled for the Hurricanes only for the Blues to immediately regain the lead with the first of Jerome Kaino’s brace. Coles replied for the ‘Canes only for Kaino to again break the deadlock when he burst from a ruck to gallop 40 metres to the line.

As both sides tightened their defences there was no scoring for the remaining 17 minutes of the half but after a Francis penalty extended the Blues lead to 27-17 early in the second spell the Hurricanes began to claw their way back into the contest.

Two Barrett penalties narrowed the gap to 24-23 before TJ Perenara put Fifita over for his first try to put the Hurricanes in front.

The big lock sealed the outcome with his second try running on to a long pass from Willis Halaholo with nine minutes remaining.

Earlier this morning, the Waratahs romped to a nine-try win over the Sunwolves with scrum-half Matt Lucas and wing Reece Robinson getting two apiece on the way to a 12 – 57 win in Tokyo.

Source: SANZAAR/YouTube

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