Hurricanes 35-28 Bulls, Westpac Stadium
Hurricanes resisted a second half fightback from Bulls as they sealed a 35-28 win at Westpac Stadium to reach the semi-final in the ongoing Super Rugby season.
The Hurricanes will now line-up against defending champions Crusaders in Christchurch on 29th June in the semi-final.
Beauden Barrett kick-started the proceedings with an 11th-minute penalty goal but Bulls responded back immediately with a touchdown from Warrick Gelant two minutes later. Handre Pollard's conversion made the scoreline 3-7.
Nevertheless, it was total domination from the hosts for the next 15 minutes during which they slotted three tries - one each from TJ Perenara (17'), Ben Lam (23') and Salesi Rayasi (27'). Beauden's triple conversions meant Hurricanes had clear advantage with a lead of 24-7.
Cornal Hendricks ensured Bulls were in the game with a try close to the break during which the scoreline became 24-14.
Rayasi with his second at the start of the second half stretched Hurricanes' lead to 15 points but he became a villain in the 52nd minute when he was sin-binned in the 52nd minute for a deliberate knock-on on a pass from Pollard close to the Hurricanes’ try-line as the visitors were also awarded a penalty try making the scoreline 29-21.
Jordie Barrett with a penalty goal in the 56th minute provided a breather for Hurricanes but Bulls were very much in the game with
Hendricks' second in the 58th minute brought down the gap to just four points.
The final quarter saw only Jordie's penalty being the only points as Hurricanes completed a seven point thrilling win.