Hurricanes bt Highlanders, Lions down Rebels in Super Rugby
The Hurricanes earned their fifth win to start Super Rugby when prop Reg Goodes and scrumhalf TJ Perenara scored second-half tries to lift the Wellington-based side over the Highlanders 20-13 on Friday.
It’s the first time in 12 years the Hurricanes have won five in a row.
Goodes’ try in the 48th minute and Perenara’s in the 72nd allowed them to break out of a 3-3 halftime deadlock.
The Highlanders hit back with a 78th-minute try to flyhalf Lima Sopoaga, who scored all of his team’s points.
The Highlanders produced the best try of the match when Sopoaga glided through the Hurricanes’ defense to score and, with his conversion, to earn the Highlanders a bonus point.
“It was tough, we knew it was going to be, and it just came down to a few moments,” Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said. “We didn’t have a good first 40 minutes, we were lucky to be in it, but then we played a good 25 and were good enough to keep pressure right on them.”
At Melbourne, Australia, center Lionel Mapoe scored in the 78th minute to give the Johannesburg-based Lions a 20-16 win over the Rebels after the South African side trailed 13-3 at halftime.
The late try gave the visitors an 18-16 lead, with Elton Jantjies converting for the final scoreline.
Melbourne coach Tony McGahan said he was “shocked” by his team’s late collapse.
“I’m still coming to grips with it,” he said. “To be in a game, and to be in it with a lot of control, and then to have it taken away from us at the end ...”
Hurricanes 20 (Reg Goodes, TJ Perenara tries; Beauden Barrett 2 conversions, 2 penalties), Highlanders 13 (Lima Sopoaga try, conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 3-3.
Lions 20 (Marnitz Boshoff, Lionel Mapoe tries; Elton Jantjies 2 conversions, 2 penalties,) Melbourne 16 (Mitch Inman, Jonah Placid tries; Mike Harris 2 penalties). HT 3-13.