Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Barrett shines as Hurricanes beat Blues

SIN-BINNED:Despite his masterful control of the field, Barrett has not been able to avoid getting himself into trouble, receiving his third yellow card in two weeks

AFP, WELLINGTON

The Southern Kings’ Yaw Penxe, left, scores a try as the Queensland Reds’ Eto Nabuli attempts to tackle him in their Super Rugby match in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Beauden Barrett yesterday produced a master class performance, albeit with another yellow card, to get the Wellington Hurricanes home 28-24 against the Auckland Blues in their Super Rugby clash in Auckland, New Zealand.

Barrett was instrumental in three of the four Hurricanes tries in the fast, but scrappy encounter where missed tackles and turnovers were rife.

The Blues, who have not beaten a New Zealand side at home since they downed the Otago Highlanders in the first round last year, hit the front for the first time against the Hurricanes with 15 minutes remaining.

However, despite their desire to arrest their dismal home record, they could not stop Barrett engineering a late match-winning try.

The Blues were pressing the Hurricanes line looking to extend their lead when Barrett chipped ahead and regathered to spark a move that swept the length of the field.

It ended with the flyhalf angling a kick toward the corner where lock Mark Abbott, who scored the first try, was on hand to score the decider.

“It took a pretty special play from Beauden to get them down their end,” Blues captain James Parsons said.

“That was the big play that we were looking for to win, and they won it unfortunately,” he added.

Barrett called it a “spur of the moment play,” but Hurricanes captain T.J. Perenara said it typified their never-say-die attitude.

“We were under the pump for a big part of that second half and for us not to concede too much and to be able to get up and over the line, I’m proud of that,” Perenara said.

Both sides traded tries through the first quarter, with Abbott scoring in the third minute and Augustine Pulu replying for the Blues from the restart.

Barrett sent Ngani Laumape for the Hurricanes second try, with Melani Nanai equalizing for the Blues.

Sonny Bill Williams fumbled a short pass to gift Barrett a try in the 27th minute, which put the Hurricanes ahead 21-14.

However, as much as Barrett starred with his ability to read the game and shred the defense, he again found himself in hot water with his third yellow card in two weeks.

He received two last week for deliberate knockdowns against the New South Wales Waratahs, and he was sent off late in the first half against the Blues for knocking the ball out of the hands of scrumhalf Pulu.

The Blues gained nothing from their one-man advantage, but hit the front midway through the second half when Bryn Gatland, the son of Wales coach Warren Gatland, took the field.

The replacement flyhalf landed a penalty and converted a try by Scott Scrafton to have the Blues up 24-21 before Abbott sealed the outcome for the Hurricanes.

Defending champions the Hurricanes have six wins from seven games to sit four points behind the unbeaten Canterbury Crusaders in the New Zealand conference, while the Blues are at the bottom with just three wins from eight outings.

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