Hurricanes 31-18 Chiefs: Cane scare compounds misery as Gatland switches focus to Lions

By Sports Desk August 08, 2020

Sam Cane suffered an injury scare as the Chiefs' miserable Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign ended in a 31-18 defeat at the Hurricanes.

In what was head coach Warren Gatland's final game before he takes a one-year hiatus to focus on his British and Irish Lions duties, the Chiefs slipped to an eighth defeat from as many matches in the competition and a ninth straight loss in total.

Even more worrying was the sight of New Zealand skipper Cane needing medical treatment after his head clattered into Jordie Barrett's hip, leaving him prone on the ground, in the 26th minute.

Cane was able to walk off the pitch but the scene was eerily similar to the one in 2018 while representing the All Blacks when a tackle on South Africa's Francois Louw left him with a broken neck.

The Hurricanes dominated territory and possession and led 12-3 at the break with Peter Umaga-Jensen crossing twice.

Cobus van Wyk's sin-binning at the end of the first half gave the Chiefs a brief numerical advantage but, even though Sean Wainui touched down, Dane Coles and then Van Wyk stretched the Hurricanes' lead.

Mitch Karpik, Cane's replacement, offered brief hope of a late Chiefs revival, only for a classy try that started with a Barrett line break and ended with Jamie Booth's superb overhead flick playing in Billy Proctor to put an end to the contest.

The Hurricanes still have the slimmest of title hopes as a result of the win but need a favour from Highlanders, who play the table-topping Crusaders on Sunday, to take it to the last weekend.

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