24 May 2024

Super Rugby Pacific: Hurricanes claim controversial victory over Chiefs

9:32 pm on 24 May 2024
T.J. Perenara of the Hurricanes during the Super Rugby Pacific round 14 match between the Chiefs and Hurricanes at FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

T.J. Perenara of the Hurricanes during the Super Rugby Pacific round 14 match between the Chiefs and Hurricanes at FMG Stadium in Hamilton. Photo: Photosport

An ice cool Brett Cameron stepped up to slot a late penalty to help the Hurricanes snatch a dramatic victory over the Chiefs in front of a sold-out crowd in Hamilton.

Locked up at 17-all with time all but up, the Hurricanes were awarded a controversial penalty which Cameron nailed to take his side back to the top of the Super Rugby Pacific table.

The Hurricanes roared out of the gates to take a two-try lead at half-time, only for the Chiefs to stage a storming second-half comeback.

Canes skipper Jordie Barrett said it was a special win and crucial in the context of their season.

"It's such a tough place to come and win, and we were up against a formidable side. We gave ourselves a buffer and knew there would be a response."

He said every point at the back end of the season was important.

"It was one we needed, we would have learned a lot down the stretch tonight but it's a quality Chiefs side who we might have to face again soon."

Chiefs midfielder Quinn Tupaea is tackled.

Chiefs midfielder Quinn Tupaea is tackled. Photo: Photosport

Chiefs captain Luke Jacobson said despite coming up just short, the team knew they had what it took to win the close ones.

"The first half, the Hurricanes played some really good footy, in the second half we managed to clean up our discipline a little bit and got some good results from it but real tough loss there at the end."

The Hurricanes found themselves on the wrong side of the whistle early on, conceding six consecutive penalties which also saw hooker Raymond Tuputupu sent to the bin for shoulder on head contact, later upgraded to red.

However, after a pile of pressure, the Canes put first points on the board as prop Xavier Numia exploded through the line and powered over the chalk in the tackle of Shaun Stevenson in a 30-metre special.

The momentum swing also saw the penalties go against the hosts. Kaylum Boshier was given a 10-minute spell on the sideline after knocking the ball from TJ Perenara's hands.

Brayden Iose of the Hurricanes takes it into contact.

Brayden Iose of the Hurricanes takes it into contact. Photo: Photosport

The competition leader cashed in on the weight of possession with a superb set piece try, Josh Moorby rocketing through the defence from an inside ball before linking with Barrett who went in under the sticks.

Barrett tried to extend the lead by three with a 55-metre penalty attempt on the siren, but his effort hit the upright to make it a 14-0 at the break.

Clearly given a stern talking-to in the sheds, it took just 30 seconds for the Chiefs to strike, smartly shifting it wide to put Anton Lienert-Brown is space and the All Black centre popped it inside to a surging Emoni Narawa to score.

A Narawa intercept set his side back on attack only for Kini Naholo to cynically slow it down and the winger was shown yellow for the indiscretion.

Brett Cameron ensured the damage was reduced while down a man and nailed a shot at goal to push the lead to 10.

Replacement Wallace Sititi then brought the Chiefs right back in the hunt, peeling off to the blind from a lineout drive and stretching out to get it on the line.

MacKenzie squared the ledger with another penalty before the Hurricanes looked to have stolen it when Salesi Rayasi sliced his way though, before turning inside to his support.

Josh Ioane was able to knock it towards his own line but Naholo pounced on the loose ball to score what appeared to be the match winner.

However, upon review, Richard Judd was ruled to have got a fingertip to it before Naholo, scrubbing the try.

They would not have to wait long though to reclaim the lead and their spot atop the table, as the Chiefs were pinged for not rolling in the 79th minute.

Cameron coolly kicked the 40-metre shot for a win.


Chiefs 17 (Narawa, Sititi tries, McKenzie, 2 cons, 1 pens)

Hurricanes 20 (Numia, Barrett, tries, Cameron, 2 cons, 2 pens)

Hurricanes centre Billy Proctor on the charge.

Hurricanes centre Billy Proctor on the charge. Photo: Photosport

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