Super Rugby: Hurricanes, Sharks, Stormers are winners
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fullback Jordie Barrett scored two tries in the first six minutes to set the Hurricanes on course for a 47-19 win over the Chiefs in a free-flowing Super Rugby derby on Saturday.
In Sydney, New South Wales lock Jed Holloway was sent off and flanker Jack Dempsey sin-binned in a 23-15 loss to the Sharks.
Barrett’s early double, converted by his brother Beauden, gave the Hurricanes a 14-0 lead by the seventh minute and set the tone for a match between teams which drew 23-23 five weeks ago.
Six tries were scored in a first half which saw minimal defense, with the Hurricanes leading 28-12 at the interval. If either side held the ball for more than a few phases, a try almost inevitably resulted.
In Buenos Aires, the Jaguares defended strongly and scored the only points of the second half on a penalty goal to beat the ACT Brumbies 20-15.
The home side played a man down for 10 minutes from the 66th minute after flanker Marcos Kremer received a yellow card for playing the ball on the ground. But the Jaguares hung tough, then took advantage of a turnover by the Australian side in the final minute to kick the ball out of play.
The Brumbies came into the match with back-to-back wins over South Africa conference opposition, starting with the Lions in Canberra and following it up with a strong defensive performance in beating the Stormers 19-17 last weekend in Cape Town.
In South Africa, the Stormers held on for a 24-23 win over the Bulls, gaining revenge for a 40-3 drubbing by the Bulls on the opening weekend.
The Stormers scored three tries to the Bulls’ two, with wing Dillyn Leyds’ winding run from deep setting up the match-winning score for scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies with 20 minutes to go. That put the Stormers 24-16 up. The Bulls’ reply was too late, when replacement Manie Libbok scored on the hooter to close it to one point with the conversion.
The Hurricanes’ bonus point win improved their record to 7-2 and made them second in the New Zealand conference, seven points behind the Crusaders who beat the Lions 36-10 on Friday.
Victories for the Sharks and Stormers meant a congested South African conference. The Sharks moved to second in the overall standings as conference leaders but are 13 points behind the Crusaders. The Melbourne Rebels are third but have played one less game.
The Chiefs started the second half strongly against the Hurricanes and scored almost immediately through flanker Lachlan Boshier after a chip kick from flyhalf Marty McKenzie was reclaimed by center Anton Lienert-Brown. They closed to within nine points.
Hurricanes winger Wes Goosen was next to join in the try-fest, adding the eighth try of the match from a set-piece move.
Captain T.J. Perenara said the performance was one of the Hurricanes’ best this season because “we did the simple things well.
“That’s one of the things we haven’t done well for a big part of the season, simple skills under pressure. But we did that for a big part of the game tonight and that paid off for us.”
Playing with only 13 men against 15 for a crucial five-minute period in the second half at Sydney, the Waratahs missed an opportunity to move ahead of Melbourne and take the Australian conference lead before a two-game trip to South Africa.
The score was 10-10 when Holloway was shown a red card for elbowing Sharks prop Thomas du Toit in the head in the 46th minute. Australian referee Nic Berry also issued du Toit a yellow card for holding Holloway back but said Holloway had taken matters into his own hands with the unnecessary retaliation.
Holloway was the first Waratahs player to be sent off since Pat O’Connor earned a red card for head-butting in 2011.
Five minutes after Holloway was shown his red card, Dempsey was sent off for a tip tackle on Sharks winger Sibusiso Nkosi and it didn’t take long for the Sharks to take advantage.
Center Andre Esterhuizen charged over two minutes later and Curwin Bosch’s conversion had the Sharks 17-10 ahead and with a one-man advantage for the best part of the last half hour.
“It was really hard,” Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said. “The Sharks played a really good possession game there, kept putting us down there. They took some shots at goal which ate up time. We let the lead get too far out.”