April 27, 2019

Match Report - Gallagher Chiefs unable to subdue the Hurricanes

The Gallagher Chiefs remain stuck at the bottom of the New Zealand conference after a 47-19 loss to the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Following their 23-all draw when the two sides met in Hamilton earlier this season, the Hurricanes proved too strong on home soil, running in seven tries to three in what was a fast-paced and entertaining encounter.

An electric opening from the home side saw them on the scoreboard inside three minutes, with a nicely worked set piece play seeing hooker Asafo Aumua putting Jordie Barrett into a big hole and the fullback raced 30 metres to score.

Not long after the restart Jordie Barrett was in for his second try as he returned a kick from halfway, sliding across field and drifting his way past some disorganised Chiefs defence and over the line.

His brother Beauden converted both tries for a 14-0 lead after just 8 minutes of play.

Following the Jordie Barrett double, the Hurricanes continued to dominate play and in the 17th minute lock Kane Leaupepe burrowed his way over the line to extend the lead to 21 points.

The Chiefs desperately needed to score the next points to keep themselves in the contest and, after turning down a shot at goal and opting for a scrum close to the line, young loose forward Luke Jacobson showed great determination to break through two tackles and score.

Their first points of the evening seemed to give the Chiefs plenty of confidence, and they marched back downfield for their second try a few minutes later as wing Ataata Moeakiola charged into the Hurricanes defence and squeezed the ball over the line between a pile of bodies.

The good work was soon undone however, as once the Hurricanes finally got their hands back on the ball, they showed their class to swiftly move downfield with halfback TJ Perenara scoring their fourth try.

The remainder of the first half saw chances for both sides with plenty of action on show, but no further points were added and the Hurricanes took their healthy 16-point lead into the halftime break.

A slick start to the second half from the Chiefs gave them a quick seven points as they burst into Hurricanes territory with flanker Lachlan Boshier showing good composure with ball in hand to finish off.

The back and forth nature of the match continued with the Hurricanes next to score, as some impressive acceleration from winger Wes Goosen saw him get on the outside of fullback Solomon Alaimalo to dot down in the right-hand corner.

Ardie Savea then got in on the action with plays at both ends of the field resulting in the Hurricanes sixth try - the All Blacks loose forward forcing a turnover which sparked a long-range counter attack before he took the final pass and dragged a couple of defenders with him over the line.

As the match moved into the final quarter the action dried up, but the Hurricanes never looked like relinquishing their 21-point lead and with seven minutes remaining they extended it further. Not long after entering the field for his Super Rugby debut, replacement wing Salesi Rayasi scored the final try of the night to seal a comprehensive bonus point win.

Gallagher Chiefs 19 (Luke Jacobson, Ataata Moeakiola, Lachlan Boshier tries; Marty McKenzie 2 cons) Hurricanes 47 (Jordie Barrett 2, Kane Leaupepe, TJ Perenara, Wes Goosen, Ardie Savea, Salesi Rayasi tries; Beauden Barrett 6 cons) HT: 12-28.

The Gallagher Chiefs now look forward to another New Zealand derby next weekend, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday 4 May (7.35pm).

Match Report - Gallagher Chiefs unable to subdue the Hurricanes