Hurricanes storm past Brumbies to reach Super Rugby final

The Hurricanes are through to their first Super Rugby decider since 2006 after defeating the Brumbies 29-9 in Wellington tonight. 

With a 12-3 lead at the break - thanks to tries by Julian Savea and TJ Perenara - the Hurricanes were never troubled by a Brumbies side that failed to fire a single shot and was possibly out of gas in the opening stanza. 

New All Blacks squad member Nehe Milner-Skudder was the catalyst for a number of the Hurricanes' lethal attacking movements but could be in doubt for next week's final at Westpac Stadium due to a hamstring injury that saw him hooked at halftime. 

The blow mattered little in this particular match as Ardie Savea rode a devastating maul to crash over for the Hurricanes' third immediately after the break.

The Hurricanes showed why they finished the regular season as the tournament's top-ranked team, playing some dazzling rugby but they also showed why they can be frustrating to follow, blowing several scoring opportunities and allowing the Brumbies to mount a dangerous rally in the second half.

Nevertheless, by the time Milner-Skudder's replacement Matt Proctor crossed in the final quarter, Hurricanes fans were already celebrating the historic win.

HURRICANES 29 (TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Ardie Savea, Julian Savea tries James Marshall 2, Beauden Barrett cons Marshall pen) bt BRUMBIES 9 (Christian Leali'ifano 2, Jesse Mogg pens) at Westpac Stadium. Referee: Glen Jackson. Crowd: 33,460.

FULLTIME

81mins- HUR 20-9 BRU 

One last knock on by the Brumbies and that's the game. 

80mins - HUR 29-9 BRU 

Joe Tomane refuses to go quietly and breaks out of the Brumbies' 22 and into the Hurricanes' half. 

78mins - HUR 29-9 BRU

Hurricanes looking to finish strong with some more running rugby. A half chance for Proctor before the ball was knocked on. Fans have already begun celebrating. 

74mins - HUR 29-9 BRU

TRY! Hurricanes burst through the middle third of the field thanks to a Ma'a Nonu break. That gives them the momentum needed to swing it wide where Victor Vito pops it inside to Matt Proctor to score. 

71mins - HUR 22-9 BRU

A lot of stoppages now. This scrum alone has soaked up just under a minute on the match clock. All good things for the Hurricanes.

68mins - HUR 22-9 BRU

Another penalty, another shot for Marshall but he's sprayed it wide of the right post. 

65mins - HUR 22-9 BRU

Brumbies restart is out on the full. Are they starting to fall apart? 

64mins - HUR 22-9 BRU

THREE! Hurricanes regain possession and string together more than 10 phases on the Brumbies line. Referee Glen Jackson eventually awards a penalty in front and James Marshall slots it. 

60mins - HUR 19-9 BRU

Brumbies repel Hurricanes maul just five metres out from the goal line. That's a turnover and a Brumbies scrum. 

56mins - HUR 19-9 BRU

THREE! Brumbies isolate Barrett and win the penalty. Lealiifano slots the penalty from right in front. Hurricanes get it wrong, trying to run out of their own half. 

51mins - HUR 19-6  BRU

Jesse Mogg did everything - got on the outside and chipped over Proctor - but catch the ball with the line wide open. 

PHOTO | @Scottfardy rises to claim a lineout for the Brumbies #SuperRugby #HURvBRU pic.twitter.com/9P1MDq7qBl

— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) June 27, 2015

48mins - HUR 19-6 BRU

THREE! Lealiifano slots the Brumbies' second penalty of the night. Meanwhile, crowd number have come in - 33,460 here tonight. 

46mins - HUR 19-3 BRU

Just confirming Milner-Skudder has been taken off with a hamstring injury. 

43mins - HUR 19-3 BRU

TRY! Ardie Savea crashes over on the back of a stream rolling Hurricanes maul. The best possible start to the half. 

41mins - HUR 12-3 BRU

And we're back. Brumbies take the kick-off. Nehe Milner-Skudder has gone for the game. Matt Proctor onto the right wing. Looks to be some kind of injury. 

HAFLTIME

HALF TIME | @Hurricanesrugby 12 (T: J Savea, Perenara C: Barrett) lead @BrumbiesRugby 3 (P: Mogg) #SuperRugby #HURvBRU

— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) June 27, 2015

38mins - HUR 12-3 BRU

THREE! Brumbies' second choice kicker Jesse Mogg cuts the deficit to nine going into the break. Lealiifano has gone off to get his bleeding eye looked at.

35mins - HUR 12-0 BRU

Hurricanes continuing to wreak havoc with some very quick ball at the breakdown. They reach the Brumbies five-metre line before play is stopped for an injured Lealiifano. 

30mins - HUR 12-0 BRU

Brumbies regather and are now at the Hurricanes' goal line ... but they've just given away a penalty and possession at a crucial time.

27mins - HUR 12-0 BRU

TRY! Milner-Skudder the creator - TJ Perenara the finisher. The 'Canes again finding space out wide to launch from long range. 

24mins - HUR 5-0 BRU

NO TRY! Replays are needed to see whether Dane Coles had grounded the ball over the line beneath a pile of bodies. He didn't. 

Meanwhile, Beauden Barrett has been penalised for rucking giving the Brumbies a chance to clear their half. 

20mins - HUR 5-0 BRU

TRY! Hurricanes had the penalty advantage and continued to build patiently before Julian Save got one-on-one with Brumbies halfback Nic White. Straight over the top of him and over the line to score in the left corner. 

17mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

Crowd comes alive once again as Conrad Smith turns down a shot at goal. They go for the lineout but again, execution is just a little off. Brumbies regain possession. 

14mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

A cross-field kick by Barrett finds Julian Savea on the wing. He looks set to take it but his hands let him down. May have had a quick look at the arriving defender. 

12mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

Ardie Savea gets into the action, bumping and palming defenders off. Nonu links with Conrad Smith, who gets to within three metres of the line before having the ball raked away. 

9mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

Worrying signs for the Brumbies as the Hurricanes cut loose once again. This time Nonu and Savea link up but there's a knock on in there somewhere. Brumbies scrum. 

7mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

MISS! Barrett slams his first penalty shot into the right post and it's away. 

4mins - HUR 0-0 BRU

CHANCE! Hurricanes open the Brumbies up early with Milner-Skudder getting the fancy feet going. A series of passes would have got them over the line but Dane Coles couldn't hold on. Brumbies scrum on their own 22. 

1min - HUR 0-0 BRU

And we're off. Hurricanes receive the kick off and quickly clear to touch. 

Kick-off was at 7:35pm (NZT).

Pre-game 

TEAMS:

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.

Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Matt Proctor.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Lausii Taliauli, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano,9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Nigel Ah Wong, 23 Robbie Coleman.

In memory of @Hurricanesrugby legend Jerry Collins #neverforgotten pic.twitter.com/oEe78utGxm

— SKY Sport NZ (@skysportnz) June 27, 2015

 

A great tribute to Jerry Collins. pic.twitter.com/FeSn0pmrDd

— Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) June 27, 2015

 

Pre-match entertainment for @ONENewsSport courtesy of @CoryJane1080 ... Kick-off in 40! #yeow pic.twitter.com/y1rS1ssv8t

— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) June 27, 2015

 

Great to see support for the Brumbies here at Westpac Stadium. #BRUvHUR #SuperRugbyFinals #GiddyUp pic.twitter.com/4dRXvo2PLa

— Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) June 27, 2015

The Hurricanes are set to play in front of their first sell-out crowd at Westpac Stadium in nearly 10 years when they host the Brumbies in their Super Rugby semi-final in Wellington tomorrow night.

The conspicuous yellow seats at the stadium stick out like an eyesore but the Canes' compelling form this season has seem the Wellington faithful return.

As of this morning, only 1,000 tickets were left in the 35,000 capacity stadium as the Hurricanes attempt to make just their second final in 20 years of competition.

The last time the Hurricanes played in front of a sell-out crowd in Wellington was in the 2006 semi-final against the Waratahs.

"At the start of the year we talked about the barometer of our success as being able to fill the stadium and I think we're pretty happy we've managed to do that. That was step one of the process," Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said.


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