Hurricanes stay in the hunt
Late try means play-off dream remains alive
Last Updated: 13/07/12 10:41am
The Hurricanes kept alive their play-off hopes with a dramatic 28-25 victory over the Chiefs in Wellington.
The TMO awarded a try to Dane Coles long after the final hooter had sounded to clinch the win and hand the Chiefs a second successive defeat.
The decision was harsh on the Chiefs, who thought they had done enough to keep Coles and the Hurricanes out.
However the Hurricanes won't worry about that as they now have a three-point advantage over their play-off rivals - who all play on Saturday.
Julian Savea also crossed twice for the home side, while Beauden Barrett landed 13 points from the boot.
Aaron Cruden led the way for the Chiefs with 15 points - including a try - while Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Ben Tameifuna also scored. However they could now be overhauled by the Stormers at the top of the table
A superb start from the Chiefs saw them rewarded for their adventure as they went for corner from a penalty - with a series of drives seeing Kerr-Barlow snipe through a gap to score, although referee Jonathan Kaplan appeared to impede the defence. Cruden converted.
The Hurricanes opened their account with a penalty from Barrett while a superb counter-attack saw them follow up with a try. Conrad Smith deserved the credit for his strong running in the initial break before Savea finished well in the corner.
There was worse to come for the Chiefs as Savea burrowed his way over from close range, with Barrett converting.
The Hurricanes, though, were reduced to 14 men when Ben May was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Sonny Bill Williams - and the Chiefs took full advantage.
First Cruden slotted over a penalty - and then although the fly-half hit the post with another effort at goal, the Chiefs were able to score from the lineout after the Hurricanes struggled to clear the ball. A textbook catch-and-drive move resulted in Tameifuna driving over to level the scores.
However a long-range penalty from Barrett on the stroke of half-time saw the Hurricanes lead 18-15.
Both sides went for it after the break but it was the Chiefs who moved into the lead when Cruden snaffled Barrett's inside pass and raced away for an intercept try. Cruden converted.
The Hurricanes responded with a Barrett penalty - only for Cruden to slot over another of his own to give the Chiefs a four-point cushion.
However the Hurricanes refused to give up and after sustained spell of pressure, they finally got the crucial try. Coles drove at the line from close range and although Kerr-Barlow stopped him short, the supporting players were able to nudge him over - with the TMO awarding the try. Barrett converted.