Hurricanes beat Crusaders In Thriller
- Published: 25 July 2020
The Hurricanes have done what no team has pulled off in more than four years – beat the Crusaders on their home patch.
A Wes Goosen brace, and five Jordie Barrett penalty goals, powered them to a memorable 34-32 upset in Christchurch on Saturday night.
Crusaders pivot Richie Mo’unga missed a difficult conversion attempt from out wide with two minutes to play, as the home side's late rally came up short.
\Not only did it keep the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby Aotearoa hopes alive, it ensured the Crusaders faithful filed out of their temporary stadium and into the frigid Addington air to ponder a Super Rugby defeat for the first time since July 16, 2016, also against the Hurricanes.
And so Super Rugby Aotearoa is far from a done deal. The Crusaders, who could have firmly placed one hand on the newly minted trophy with a win, remain in the box seat but have a fight on their hands.
Goosen was one of a bunch of standout Hurricanes, as was centre Peter Umaga-Jensen, who used his powerful frame to touch down out wide and give his side a 31-20 lead with 18 minutes to play.
The some 15,000 fans waited for the usual rampaging finish from the hosts down the stretch. It came, only it didn’t quite get home.
The Hurricanes, who lost second-five Ngani Laumpape to injury in the 52nd minute, held on, despite Crusaders lock Quinten Strange and wing Sevu Reece scoring down the stretch.
This match had a little bit of everything.
Rampaging runs from Ngani Laumape and Ardie Savea, some marvellous aerial takes by Will Jordan and Jordi Barrett, some silky skills from George Bridge and some serious licks on defence.
In a match full of quality tries - four by the Crusaders and three from the Hurricanes – it was Bridge’s 31st minute effort which deserves special mention.
Talk about a mixture of football and rugby, after fellow wing Reece went through a hole and flung a wide pass to Bridge, one which fell short of the target.
No problem. Bridge stuck his hoof out, hacked it forward and out-paced a slow-turning Barrett to touch down.
The Hurricanes were dealt a triple-blow before the match even started, with tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax and reserve forwards Isaia Walker-Leawere and Vaea Fifita all being scratched through injury.
To make matters worse, loosehead Fraser Armstrong only lasted 16 minutes before he needed replacing.
So it was no wonder the Crusaders marched all over the visitors’ scrum, earning repeated penalties to piggy-back them down the field early in the fixture.
But the advantage was cancelled out by the hosts having their own struggles with their lineout, an area of their game which hasn’t operated as it has in past seasons this year.
Three consecutive lineouts went awry in the first half, one which cost them a chance to strike twice in quick succession, after Mo’unga took a smart Jack Goodhue offload and scored in the 17th minute.
Instead, the Hurricanes forced a turnover inside the 22m, and tied the match at 10-10 through slick wing Goosen’s first of two tries.
Goosen, having taken a Umaga-Jensen pass for his first, was at it again five minutes from halftime, finishing off a sweeping, and patient, raid from the accurate Hurricanes.
It, and a Barrett penalty goal after the hooter, ensured the visitors went to the sheds with a 21-17 lead.
Hurricanes 34 (Wes Goosen 2, Peter Umaga-Jensen tries; Jordie Barrett 5 pens, 2 cons) Crusaders 32 (Richie Mo’unga, George Bridge, Quinten Strange, Sevu Reece tries; Mo’unga 2 pens, 3 cons). HT: 21-17
Thanks to stuff.co.nz for the report