Rugby Union 3 years ago

Hurricanes roar into Super Rugby final

  • Hurricanes roar into Super Rugby final

The Hurricanes are one win away from their maiden Super Rugby title after steamrolling the Brumbies 29-9 in a one-sided semi-final on Saturday.

The final score didn't do justice to a dominant performance from a home side that scored four unanswered tries to book their first ever home final on Saturday next week.

Coming off a bye as competition top-qualifiers, they played with verve throughout, running and off-loading with a heady mix of muscle and precision.

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The Brumbies struggled to slow the speed of ball from the breakdown and only resolute defence stopped the scoreline blowing out.

The trip from Cape Town, where they thumped the Stormers 39-19 in the qualifying final a week ago, seemed to drain the energy from the visitors, who made little impression on attack.

The likes of the Savea brothers - Julian and Ardie - inside centre Ma'a Nonu and wing Nehe Milner-Skudder ran amok at times against a defensive line often out of alignment because of the speed of the attack.

A concern for the Hurricanes, though, are injuries that forced Milner-Skudder (hamstring) from the field at halftime and Ardie Savea (knee) soon afterwards.

Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said the pair were in some discomfort but neither was ruled out of the final.

Boyd was delighted with the emphatic nature of his team's performance against determined opposition.

"The tempo and just the sheer weight of possession and territory probably counted in the end," he said.

"We left some points out there but it wasn't terminal.

"If you play a high risk and reward sort of game, then you've got to expect you'll make some mistakes."

Brumbies counterpart Stephen Larkham paid tribute to a Hurricanes side whose confidence is clearly soaring.

"They seem to have got their whole game right this year, compared to previous years where they probably didn't have as much control," he said.

"Like we've seen all season, they're dangerous when they get that turnover ball and we couldn't contain them."

A halftime lead of 12-3 didn't reflect the Hurricanes' dominance of nearly every statistic, most notably with ball in hand. They forced the Brumbies to miss 26 tackles compared to their own figure of four.

The dam finally burst in the 21st minute when All Blacks wing Julian Savea flattened Brumbies halfback Nic White to score in the corner following a wave of attacks.

TJ Perenara has made an art form of backing up breaks by his team-mates and was on hand to score his 11th try of the season after another sizzling Milner-Skudder run from 60 metres out.

Fullback Jesse Mogg kept the Brumbies in contention with a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

However, the visitors faced a mountain when Ardie Savea crossed from a lineout drive three minutes after the break.

The Brumbies' best chance to cross fell to Montpellier-bound Mogg soon afterwards but the ball wouldn't bounce for him after a slick chip and chase put him clear.

Fly-half Christian Lealiifano slotted two penalties to reduce the scoreline to 19-9 but a penalty to fullback James Marshall and long-range try to replacement wing Matt Proctor following a Nonu bust made the outcome safe.

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