Hurricanes steal win over Chiefs
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 8:23p.m.
The Hurricanes kept their faint Super Rugby playoff hopes alive when hooker Dane Coles scored a try four minutes after the final siren to snatch a 28-25 win over the Chiefs in Wellington.
The Hurricanes need a host of upset results to follow to sneak into the top six at the end of the final round, but at least they gave themselves some chance with a shock victory over the competition leaders.
Coles' 84th-minute try edged the Hurricanes home in a bruising affair after the Chiefs looked to have sewn up the Westpac Stadium encounter as they wound the clock down.
The Chiefs remain first on the overall table with 64 points after taking a bonus point for losing by less than seven points but now need the Rebels to stun the Stormers in Cape Town to stay there and ensure a home final if they make it that far.
The match delivered quality rugby right from kickoff.
Both teams showcased a stunning display of running rugby, with Chiefs halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow providing a clinical finish to the visitors' high-octane start when he darted across in the third minute.
Julian Savea picked up the first of his two tries for the Hurricanes in the 12th minute after a lethal counterattack sparked by a Brad Shields turnover opened the way for the powerful All Blacks winger to dive over in the left corner.
Savea's second came as the half-hour mark neared. The Hurricanes showed patience and accuracy in building phases and Savea - hunting for work at the ruck base - proved unstoppable from close range.
Barely three minutes later, the Hurricanes were down to 14 men after prop Ben May was judged to have lifted Chiefs centre Sonny Bill Williams in a dangerous tackle.
The Chiefs capitalised clinically with an Aaron Cruden penalty before prop Ben Tameifuna burrowed over to level the scores only for a late Beauden Barrett penalty to give the Hurricanes a narrow 18-15 lead at the break.
Aaron Cruden's intercept try in the 58th minute looked to have been enough for the Chiefs to steal the win until the Hurricanes' late assault on the Chiefs line paid dividends.
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