The Hurricanes edged the Stormers 34-28 in a thriller at the Wespac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday thanks to a controversial late try by Beauden Barrett.
The All Black flyhalf appeared to crawl his way over the line for the game’s final and ultimately decisive try that he converted himself.
The result saw the Stormers slump to their 11th consecutive loss in New Zealand and their ninth successive defeat outside of South Africa. But it was a gallant performance tinged with some bad luck for the visitors.
In all though‚ the Hurricanes scored five tries to the Stormers’ three while the home team overturned a 21-15 halftime deficit. The lead swapped five times in the match.
Beauden Barrett contributed 14 points from a try‚ three conversions and a penalty while Stormers wing SP Marais scored 13 points from three penalties and two conversions.
The Stormers came with a clear plan to play a territorial-based game and use their pack to put the Hurricanes under pressure. It paid dividends although it was not enough to ultimately seal victory.
The Stormers’ rolling maul was their most effective weapon and all three tries they scored– via captain Siya Kolisi‚ hooker Bongi Mbonambi and flank Jaco Coetzee – started from lineout mauls.
Conversely the Hurricanes tried to open the game and keep it as fractured as possible so their dangerous backs could profit. Their X-factor was just too much for the Stormers.
Inside centre Jordie Barrett‚ wing Wes Goosen (two tries) and Beauden Barrett added to prop Ben May’s early try while giant wing Ben Lam was a constant carrying threat.
The visitors took an early 6-0 lead from Marais’s boot after earning early penalties thanks to their pressure game.