Hurricanes keep title hope alive after 31-18 win over Chiefs

Jordie Barrett kicked three conversions for Hurricanes
Jordie Barrett kicked three conversions for Hurricanes
©Steve Haag

Hurricanes 31-18 Chiefs, Sky Stadium

Hurricanes have kept their hope of winning Super Rugby Aotearoa alive as they defeated Chiefs 31-18 in the ninth round at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

Hurricanes now have 21 points from seven games and will face Highlanders in the final round while Chiefs' dismal tournament ended after losing all their eight matches.

TJ Perenara made his impact felt straightaway as he made a swift pass to Peter Umaga-Jensen for the opening try in the seventh minute and Jordie Barrett followed with the conversion to make it 7-0.

Damian McKenzie helped Chiefs opened the mark with a 25th minute penalty goal but the home side increased their lead further when Wes Goosen offloaded to Umaga-Jensen for his second try in the 27th minute.

Their momentum was dented a bit when Jacobus Van Wyk was yellow-carded for a tackle on Brad Weber and Chiefs eventually made use of the numerical advantage when Sean Wainui dotted down early in the second half that was improved by McKenzie to reduce the gap down to two points.

Dane Coles returning back to the XV got his name in the scoring sheet when Perenara offloaded to the hooker but McKenzie's penalty meant Warren Gatland's men remained in contention with 17-13.

Van Wyk returning from sin-bin made amends with a touchdown in the 57th minute collecting a crossfield kick from McKenzie and Barrett kicked the extras making it 24-13 but Mitch Karpik's try in the 65th minute reduced to the trail to six points.

Nevertheless, Canes kept their nerve and with Billy Proctor's 73rd minute try ensured Hurricanes registered a 13 point victory.

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