Canes waltz past the Brumbies

A late second-half blitz saw the Hurricanes waltz past the Brumbies 16-35 in the first quarter-final at GIO Stadium in Canberra, which incidentally, keeps the Australian franchises winless over Kiwi opposition; no wins from 26 matches this season, to be precise on Friday night.

This was the Wellington side’s biggest victory over the Brumbies, keeping the ACT side scoreless in the second-half after being 16-12 down inside half an hour.

Tries by James Dargaville and Josh Mann-Rea gave the former champions a fast start, but after the break, the Brumbies fell off tackles, spent most of the time in their 22 and could not score any points as they folded under the New Zealand team’s pressure.

This was a battle between this season’s best attack (Hurricanes) versus the third best defence (Brumbies) and it showed for the best part of the match, right up until the final 10 minutes. The game was in the balance until the 70th minute before TJ Perenara’s 43rd — and record breaking scrumhalf try — ending any hope the Aussies harboured of an upset.

Soon after, Wes Goosen added the playoff dagger with his second try of the night and fourth for the defending champions, as the Canberra team drowned in the yellow tide.

Jordie Barrett scored his seventh try of the season, kicked three penalties and three conversions for a match haul of 20 points. The Hurricanes became only the second team in Super Rugby history — after the 2016 Lions — to score 600 points as they move on to the semi-final and defence of their crown. The fact that these two sides should even be playing in a playoff match is ridiculous; the Brumbies finished with six wins from 15 matches, the same record as the Southern Kings, who were ousted from the tournament — among other reasons —for not being good enough.

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