The Hurricanes made it four wins from five in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman as they defeated a luckless Reds 43-14 in Wellington on Friday.

There were just three points separating the sides approaching the hour mark before the Hurricanes made the most of clinical scoring and good fortune to ease to victory.

The Reds had nearly 60 per cent of the possession and 637 carries to their opponents' 564 but saw crucial moments go against them as they suffered a fourth defeat in five games.

Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape's try opened the scoring but Tate McDermott's converted score levelled the contest after Tyrel Lomax had been sin-binned for a high tackle.

Jordie Barrett's penalty gave the 14-man Hurricanes a 10-7 lead at half-time before the Reds lost Filipo Daugunu to a contentious yellow card, with Ruben Love touching down soon after.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa powered over after some intense forward pressure but Dane Cole's try following a soft lineout began the Hurricanes' late surge.

Laumape was awarded a penalty try after he and Bryce Hegarty chased a kick, the referee showing the latter yellow after ruling he had deliberately hit the ball over the line to prevent a score.

Replacement Devan Flanders and a second from Coles in the final nine minutes further punished the men from Queensland.

The Highlanders secured what could be an important 33-12 bonus-point win over the Brumbies that boosted their play-off hopes.

Aaron Smith scored two tries and assisted two more in a match in which the Highlanders scored 19 unanswered points in the second half.

Len Ikitau broke the deadlock for the Brumbies but Smith, Ash Dixon and Billy Harmon put the visitors in control in Canberra, despite Lachlan Lonergan also going over.

Patelesio Tomkinson got the crucial fifth try as the Highlanders held off some late pressure to make it five wins from five ahead of the final day of home-and-away matches.

Jordie Barrett missed two late penalties as the Hurricanes lost their 100 per cent Super Rugby Trans-Tasman record, slipping to a 12-10 defeat to the Brumbies after the Highlanders had hammered the Waratahs.

The Hurricanes' hopes of reaching the final were rocked at GIO Stadium, where the Brumbies held on to secure their first win of the competition on Saturday.

Brumbies scrum-half Ryan Lonergan crossed for the opening try in Canberra, but Jason Holland's side led 10-7 at half-time courtesy of a Dane Coles score and five points from the boot of Barrett.

Len Ikitau put the Brumbies back in front with their second try 12 minutes after the break and the visitors had a late Alex Fidow try ruled out for a knock-on.

Barrett was then off target with a penalty from the halfway line in the closing stages and the New Zealand international was unable to win it from the tee with the last kick of the game.

A second victory for an Australian franchise in the tournament leaves the beaten Hurricanes in fourth place and looking likely to miss out on a place in the final, with just one game of the regular season to come, which is against the Reds next Friday.

A ruthless Highlanders team had no such trouble in Dunedin, thrashing the struggling Waratahs 59-23 to sit in second place - a point behind the Blues and ahead of the Crusaders on points difference.

They ran away with it in the second half, scoring 26 points without reply after going in at the interval with a 33-23 advantage.

There were doubles for Ethan de Groot and Jona Nareki in a nine-try rout, while Mitch Hunt booted 14 points.

The Hurricanes earned a third consecutive bonus-point victory as they thrashed Western Force 43-6 on Friday in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Teams from New Zealand now hold an 11-0 record over their Australian counterparts after the rampant Hurricanes ran in seven tries without reply in a one-sided encounter.

It was their biggest ever win over Western Force, who have suffered three consecutive defeats to start the competition.

The Force opened up an early six-point lead with two Domingo Miotti penalties, but they were obliterated from there.

Asafo Aumua capitalised on a lineout mistake from fellow hooker Andrew Ready to score an impressive solo try.

That opened the floodgates as wing Salesi Rayasi scored in acrobatic fashion and it was 19-6 at the break after Du'Plessis Kirifi dotted down.

It was game over as the hosts secured a bonus point seven minutes after the interval when Wes Goosen, who was constantly threatening, went over in the corner.

Rayasi added his second try of the match and a miserable day for the struggling Force was compounded in the last 10 minutes.

They saw a potential try ruled out due to an obstruction call before Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett - who finished with 13 points - added gloss to the scoreline at the other end.

"I thought we had one of our better performances of the year," stand-in Hurricanes captain Reed Prinsep said.

"A more complete package in attack and defence. Those backs are pretty special talents. As a forward, when you see that happen, you're pretty proud."

Force skipper Kyle Godwin, meanwhile, rued mistakes from his side.

"We were our own worst enemies, the Hurricanes are a classy outfit and they pounced on our mistakes," he said.

"We didn't trust ourselves enough, we do have the attacking threats. We've got the Crusaders next so a lot to review and improve on. I felt like the boys went into their shells and we can't be doing that."

The Hurricanes made it two wins from two in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman as they scored five tries in a bonus-point defeat of the Rebels.

Julian Savea (two), Billy Proctor and Wes Goosen all crossed for the home side in Melbourne in a clinical 35-13 victory on Friday.

The Rebels, who lost prop Cabous Eloff to a 16th-minute yellow card, were only 11 points down at the break thanks to a Matt To'omua penalty sandwiched between tries from Savea and Proctor.

Michael Wells reduced the deficit further three minutes into the second half, the flanker touching down in the corner at the end of a clever passing move.

Savea scored his second of the match only for Campbell Magnay to give the visitors hope, but two further tries in seven minutes from Goosen and Asafo Aumua at last killed the contest as Jordie Barrett finished spotless with the boot.

The Highlanders also earned their second win in the Trans-Tasman competition as they won 25-15 against the Western Force in Perth.

There were 30 points scored in a frenetic first half, the Highlanders cruising ahead through tries from Jona Nareki, Ayden Johnstone and Scott Gregory before Tomas Cubelli reduced the arrears.

The second half proved a more attritional contest as the men from Dunedin showed real discipline in their defending. They won 63 of 63 rucks and 10 turnovers in the match, while only giving up nine penalties.

A second Gregory score 19 minutes from time put them firmly in control until replacement Angus Wagner went over in the dying moments for the Force, who lost narrowly to the Chiefs last week.

The Hurricanes beat the Waratahs 64-48 in a 17-try thriller and the Highlanders hammered the Reds as Super Rugby Trans-Tasman got under way on Friday.

Julian Savea and Billy Proctor claimed doubles as the impressive Hurricanes scored 10 tries in a pulsating contest, which saw the two sides rack up over a century of points at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Savea opened the scoring with an early try to help his side go in at half-time with a 33-24 advantage, Proctor dotting down twice either side of scores from Jordie Barrett and Dane Coles.

Alex Newsome, Angus Bell and Jake Gordon crossed for the Australian team in the first half as defensive frailties were exploited at both ends of the pitch.

Savea finished again early in the second half in a try-fest before Brayden Iose, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Pepesana Patafilo and Asafo Aumua got in on the act, while Barrett was on target with seven of his conversion attempts.

Harry Johnson-Holmes scored two of the beaten Waratahs' four second-half tries during what was an incredible contest.

Super Rugby Trans Tasman | Waratahs v Hurricanes - Rd 1 Highlights

The @Hurricanesrugby needed 10 tries to see off the @NSWWaratahs on Friday night, as Super Rugby Trans Tasman served up a 17-try shootout in Sydney.#SuperRugbyTT #WARvHUR pic.twitter.com/LulSssUJrv

— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) May 14, 2021

The Highlanders' victory completed a double for the New Zealand franchises after the Reds were beaten 40-19 in the other fixture.

Ash Dixon scored a try in each half at Forsyth Barr Stadium following an early score from Scott Gregory. Sio Tomkinson, Liam Coltman and Ngatungane Punivai also went over.

Suliasi Vunivalu claimed a brace of tries but the new Super Rugby AU champions came back down to earth with a bump following their title triumph.

New Zealand legend Owen Franks is returning to his homeland to join the Hurricanes on a two-year deal.

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner moved to England in 2019 for a spell with Northampton Saints.

Former Crusaders prop Franks is on the move again after deciding to resume his Super Rugby career.

"I'm excited to be getting back into Super Rugby next year with the Hurricanes after time in the UK," he said.

"My family and I are looking forward to a new challenge and being back in New Zealand and closer to friends and family is also important.

"I am very motivated to play at the highest level again and I am looking forward to working with the Hurricanes players and coaching teams and pushing for success in 2022 and 2023."

Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said of Franks: "His record speaks for itself and what he has been able to achieve is a measure of his quality and professionalism.

"Owen's experience will be invaluable, not just for the younger players in our squad but our group as a whole."

Franks played 108 times for New Zealand in a stellar Test career.

The Hurricanes ran in six tries to end a disappointing Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign on a high with a thumping 41-22 win against the Highlanders.

Already certain to finish at the foot of the five-team pool, the Hurricanes at least gave themselves something to build upon ahead of the approaching Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign.

They trailed their second-bottom visitors 17-15 at half-time, with Devan Flanders and Dane Coles going over for the Hurricanes as the Highlanders responded through Josh Dickson and Jona Nareki.

The tone was set for the second-half Hurricanes dominance when Ngani Laumape dotted down almost immediately after the restart, and Du'Plessis Kirifi raced through soon afterwards for another score.

Ash Dixon dragged the Highlanders back into it by ploughing through a gap in the Hurricanes defence, but Brayden Iose and Salesi Rayasi left no doubt with tries in the closing 10 minutes, earning a second win in eight games.

Damian McKenzie landed a penalty after the final siren sounded to secure the Chiefs a thrilling 26-24 win over the Hurricanes on Friday.

Full-back McKenzie was on target with the match-winning kick in the 83rd minute of a see-saw Super Rugby Aotearoa clash that seemed set to yield an upset result.

Asafo Aumua's 68th-minute try, which was converted by Jordie Barrett, had the struggling Hurricanes on course for just their second victory of the 2021 season.

James Blackwell and Billy Proctor also touched down for the visitors - the former doing so in the opening minute of proceedings - as the team stuck at the bottom of the standings gave their second-placed opponents a serious scare.

Chiefs managed two tries themselves through Pita-Gus Sowakula and Bryn Gatland, but it was McKenzie's trusty boot that proved crucial in deciding the outcome.

The New Zealand international landed both conversion attempts as well as four penalties, the last of which dashed Hurricanes' hopes in dramatic fashion.

The Crusaders sealed a golden-point victory over the Hurricanes as David Havili's drop goal settled a memorable contest in extra time.

Havili's heroics secured a 30-27 triumph for the four-time defending champions against Super Rugby Aotearoa's rock-bottom side on Sunday.

It was a thrilling clash in Wellington, in which the Crusaders bounced back from last weekend's surprise loss to the Highlanders, who on Saturday were on the wrong end of Super Rugby's first golden-point result.

The win takes Scott Robertson's Crusaders eight points clear of the Blues at the summit.

George Bridge touched down twice early on as it appeared the visitors were setting themselves up for a routine win.

But the Hurricanes had other ideas, Ngani Laumape showing a turn of speed to sprint clear and dot down.

Then, after Richie Mo'unga's penalty, Julian Savea collected James Blackwell's pass to cross the line, with Jordie Barrett levelling matters with the conversion.

Laumape's yellow card did little to stifle the Hurricanes' momentum as Wes Goosen exploited a gap in the Crusaders defence to grab a try, the hosts taking a 27-20 lead.

That, however, was as good as it got for the Hurricanes, with Seva Reece's converted try taking the game to extra time, where Havili had the final say.

The Blues got their Super Rugby Aotearoa season back on track with a battling 27-17 victory over the Hurricanes at Eden Park and the ruthless Reds maintained their perfect Super Rugby AU record on Saturday.

Leon MacDonald's side were smarting from back-to-back defeats to leaders the Crusaders and the Chiefs, but they responded with a win in Auckland.

A penalty try and three points from the boot of Otere Black put the Blues 10-9 up at half-time, with Hurricanes full-back Jordie Barrett on target three times from the tee.

Barrett bisected the posts for a fourth time to put Tony Brown's men in front, but TJ Faiane finished following an incisive break from Stephen Perofeta 10 minutes into the second half.

Mark Telea then took a superb floating pass from Rieko Ioane to cross in the corner and Black converted.

Reed Prinsep gave the Canes hope when he crashed over four minutes from time, but Black completed the scoring with a penalty right at the end as the Blues reduced the Crusaders' lead at the top to four points.

Taniela Tupou scored a first-half double as the Reds cruised to a 44-19 Super Rugby AU win over the Rebels to go four points clear of the Brumbies at the summit.

Tupou crossed twice in the space of 14 minutes, while Hunter Paisami, Fraser McReight, Jock Campbell and Josh Flook also touched down in a clinical display at AAMI Park.

Fly-half James O'Connor finished with a 14-point haul as the Reds took over at the top, with tries from Frank Lomani, Reece Hodge and Michael Wells in vain for the third-placed Rebels.

 

Jordie Barrett was in sensational form as his record points haul in Super Rugby Aotearoa led to the Hurricanes beating the Highlanders 30-19.

The All Blacks full-back scored all of the Hurricanes points in Dunedin on Friday, getting his team off the mark in this season's competition following three straight defeats.

In front of a 13,000-strong crowd at Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Barrett scored three tries, converting all of them, and added a further nine points from penalties.

It is a record points tally for a player in a single game of Super Rugby Aotearoa, which was established last year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyrel Lomax's yellow card midway through the first half handed the Highlanders a chance to get back into the contest after Barrett put the visitors 10-0 up, with his first penalty a 50-metre effort, but although Tony Brown's team scored through Bryn Evans, the Hurricanes' star man was on hand to restore the 10-point cushion before half-time.

Mitch Hunt's error was pounced on by the Hurricanes, with Barrett going over to seal his hat-trick.

Connor Garden-Bachop and Thomas Umaga-Jensen struck back for the Highlanders, though Barrett fittingly had the final say with a stoppage-time penalty.

The Chiefs produced a sensational come-from-behind performance to claim a first Super Rugby win in over a year as they defeated the Hurricanes 35-29 at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

Trailing 26-7 at half-time after an action-packed opening 20 minutes, the Chiefs scored four second-half tries to claim a brilliant victory led by full-back Damian McKenzie.

It meant the Chiefs ended a run of 11 straight defeats against New Zealand franchises, while it was also their first triumph of any kind since overcoming the Waratahs on March 6 last year.

Coming into the game, both sides were winless in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season after two matches, and the Hurricanes scored four first-half tries to appear in total control.

However, the Chiefs responded with a second-half display that left the hosts shellshocked in Wellington, with Luke Jacobson crossing for the decisive try with five minutes to play.

The Hurricanes got the jump on the Chiefs in the 11th minute when Jordie Barrett broke and passed for Luke Campbell to cross on his starting debut, with Barrett making the conversion.

The visitors immediately responded with Kaleb Trask going under the posts two minutes later with McKenzie converting.

The action-packed opening 20 minutes continued with Ricky Riccitelli scoring out wide for the Hurricanes to make it 12-7.

The Hurricanes went further ahead when Ngani Laumape's wide kick found Salesi Rayasi who showed strength to get down for another try that Barrett converted.

Rayasi got his second shortly prior to half-time to give the Hurricanes a strong advantage at the interval.

McKenzie was denied a try early in the second half by the TMO before the Chiefs started their rally with Chase Tiatia's 56th-minute try.

Shortly after, McKenzie led a break and released Tiatia who combined with Samipeni Finau before scrum-half Brad Weber crossed.

The comeback continued in the 66th minute when Naitoa Ah Kuoi was pushed over the line. McKenzie added the extras to put the Chiefs ahead 28-26.

Barrett stopped the Chiefs' scoring run with a monster penalty goal to restore their lead at 29-28.

But the Chiefs touched down again with five minutes to play when Jacobson crashed over the line, before McKenzie again kicked accurately to seal a stunning win.

The Crusaders made it two wins from two games to start the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season with a 33-16 victory over the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Sunday.

The 2019 Super Rugby champions trailed 6-0 early but capitalised on Ardie Savea's sin binning to pile on 33 unanswered points to race away with an emphatic victory which underlined their title credentials.

The Crusaders finished with five tries to two, led by All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor who scored a double, while he set up Richie Mo'unga (four conversions) for his try.

Flanker Ethan Blackadder and lock Scott Barrett also touched down before half-time as the hosts opened up a 26-6 lead at the break.

After Taylor's second try in the 46th minute, the Hurricanes pulled one back thanks to Ricky Riccitelli with steady rain falling in the second half.

Will Jordan was disallowed a try for the Crusaders after he was unable to ground the ball cleanly.

Moments later the Hurricanes went down the other end to add respectability to the score with Peter Umaga-Jensen scampering over in the corner.

"It wasn't a complete performance but we can be happy with the result nonetheless," Crusaders captain Barrett told Sky TV.

The Blues started their Super Rugby Aotearoa season with a 31-16 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Last year's runners-up, the Blues scored three second-half tries at Sky Stadium in Wellington to record an impressive win.

The Hurricanes led at half-time but were outscored 24-5 in the second half.

The Blues were gifted an early try when Devan Flanders threw a loose pass, allowing Dalton Papalii to intercept and score.

But the Hurricanes responded almost immediately through Asafo Aumua, who crashed over in the fifth minute.

A pair of late Jordie Barrett penalties saw the Hurricanes lead 11-7 at the break, but the Blues quickly responded after the interval.

Otere Black's great kick found Caleb Clarke in the corner down the left before Stephen Perofeta also scored to put the Blues up 21-11.

Aumua went over again for the Hurricanes, but the Blues sealed their win through Rieko Ioane with four minutes remaining.

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