Hurricanes keep their Super Rugby Aotearoa title hopes alive

Hurricanes keep their Super Rugby Aotearoa title hopes alive

Hurricanes centre Peter Umaga-Jensen scored two first-half tries as the Hurricanes beat the Chiefs 31-18 in the penultimate weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa on Saturday.

The clash at the cake tin was Warren Gatland's final game as the Chiefs coach until 2022 with the former Wales coach head to the British and Irish Lions having lost every single Super Rugby Aotearoa game as the Chiefs' boss.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes kept alive their slim chances of winning the title alive with the bonus-point victory and moved to 21 competition points, three behind the table-topping Crusaders, who have the chance to seal the title on Sunday when they host the Highlanders.

Chiefs and All Blacks' captain Sam Cane also sent a major scare to the test set up when he slumped to the ground after attempting a tackle on Jordie Barrett. Cane broke his neck in a test match against South Africa two years ago but after being checked by medical staff he was able to walk off the field unaided.

Needing nothing less than a bonus-point win to stay in the hunt for the Super Rugby Aotearoa title, the Hurricanes made their intentions clear early by running the ball at every occasion and crossing for two tries to impressive centre Peter Umaga-Jensen.

The Chiefs made things tough for the Hurricanes and pegged back two tries in the second half to put their try scoring bonus point under threat. 

In the end, it was a touch of class from replacement halfback Jamie Booth which confirmed the bonus point for the Hurricanes. After a strong line bust from Jordie Barrett, Booth was in support and flicked an overhead ball to Billy Proctor for the crucial try.

Next week, the Hurricanes travel south to take on the Highlanders. But before then, the Hurricanes will be calling on a favour from the Highlanders in Christchurch tomorrow. If the Highlanders can upset their southern neighbours, then the Hurricanes title hopes will stay alive for one more week. For the Chiefs, the result caps off their eighth loss of the season in what has been a tough campaign for the Warren Gatland-coached side. 


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