The Hurricanes were made to work hard for their 34-28 victory over the Stormers in their Super Rugby fixture at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
Coming into the game on the back of a 23-23 draw at the Chiefs, the Hurricanes won thanks to tries from Ben May, Jordie Barrett, Wes Goosen (2) and Beauden Barrett, the latter also adding nine points off the tee for a result that keeps them in the hunt for the Conference summit.
In reply the Stormers’ try scorers were Bongi Mbonambi, Siya Kolisi and Jaco Coetzee, with SP Marais adding 13 points for the South Africans.
The Stormers jogged into the interval leading 21-15 thanks to a late try from Mbonambi which went with an earlier crossing from captain Kolisi.
They led by the fourth minute when Marais knocked over a penalty from in front and a maul drive resulted in three more points shortly after.
After a strong start from the visitors it was the hosts who then got firmer footing with a short carry from May seeing him cross the chalk. The Hurricanes were now leading 7-6 and would have doubled their score on 16 minutes but for wing Ben Lam knocking on over the whitewash.
Beauden Barrett did add three points to the tally four minutes later off the tee and when Jean-Luc du Plessis was yellow carded for a ruck offence, the Hurricanes struck again with scrum-half Richard Judd’s clever grubber into the in-goal area being grounded by Jordie Barrett.
At 15-6 down the Stormers needed a response and it came via flanker Kolisi after he split from the maul and following a penalty apiece for each side and with Vaea Fifita in the sin-bin, Mbonambi followed his captain’s example to go over on the stroke of half-time for a shock 21-15 lead.
The Hurricanes would strike first in the second period when Chase Tiatia’s long pass out to Goosen saw him finish for 22-21 on 53 minutes.
But the Stormers hit back via replacement Coetzee from close range before Goosen was at it again on the right, making it a 28-27 to the visitors with just over a quarter of the game left. The question was whether the travel from South Africa would catch up with the Stormers.
Answering that somewhat was the sight of Beauden Barrett scrambling over the try-line in the 71st minute to put his side into a 34-28 lead.
The Stormers did have one final opportunity to snatch victory though, but a line-out offence five metres out denied them a shot at the four points.
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