Hurricanes claim victory over Chiefs

Ice cold Brett Cameron stepped up to take a late penalty and help the Hurricanes to a dramatic victory over the Chiefs in front of a sold-out crowd in Hamilton.

Deadlocked at 17-17 and with time almost up, the Hurricanes were awarded a controversial penalty which Cameron nailed to take his team back to the top of the Super Rugby Pacific table.

The Hurricanes came roaring out of the gates to take a two-try halftime lead, only for the Chiefs to stage a sweeping comeback in the second half.

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

“It’s a very difficult place to come and win, and we were up against a formidable team. We gave ourselves some leeway and we knew there would be a response.”

He said every point at the 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 team that we might have to face again soon.”

Chiefs midfielder Quinn Tupaea is tackled.

Chiefs captain Luke Jacobson said that despite coming up short, the team knew they had what it took to win the closest games.

“In the first half, the Hurricanes played very well, in the second half we managed to clean up our discipline a little and got good results, but in the end we suffered a very tough defeat.”

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

However, after much pressure, the Canes put the first points on the board when prop Xavier Numia exploded across the line and beat the chalk on Shaun Stevenson’s tackle on a 30-metre special.

The shift in momentum also led to penalties going against the hosts. Kaylum Boshier spent 10 minutes on the bench after knocking the ball out of TJ Perenara’s hands.

Brayden Iose of the Hurricanes makes contact with him.

The competition leaders took advantage of the weight of possession with a magnificent set-piece attempt, Josh Moorby breaking through the defense with an inside ball before connecting with Barrett who entered between the posts.

Barrett tried to extend the lead to three with a penalty attempt from 55 yards as the siren sounded, but his shot hit the post to make it 14-0 at half-time.

Clearly after some stern talk in the sheds, it took Chiefs just 30 seconds to attack, switching it smartly to make space for Anton Lienert-Brown and the All Black center slotting it in towards a rising Emoni Narawa to score.

An interception by Narawa saw his team attack again only for Kini Naholo to cynically stop play and the winger received a yellow card for the indiscretion.

Brett Cameron made sure the damage was reduced while one man was down and scored a shot on goal to take the lead to 10.

Replacement Wallace Sititi then brought Chiefs back into the hunt, taking off towards the blind from a lineout and stretching to put him on the line.

MacKenzie squared the score with another penalty before the Hurricanes looked like they had stolen it when Salesi Rayasi broke through, before turning inside to support him.

Josh Ioane was able to flick it towards his own line, but Naholo pounced on the loose ball to score what looked to be the winning goal.

However, upon review, it was ruled that Richard Judd had touched him before Naholo, canceling the attempt.

However, they would not have to wait long to regain the lead and their place at the top of the table as the Chiefs were penalized for not rolling in the 79th minute.

Cameron coolly fired the 40-meter shot to take the win.

Hurricanes focus Billy Proctor on the charge.

Scorers

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

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

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