Rugby: Hurricanes keep playoff hopes alive

Julian Savea of the Hurricanes is congratulated by his team mates after scoring a try during the round 15 Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Hurricanes. Photo / Getty Images.
Julian Savea of the Hurricanes is congratulated by his team mates after scoring a try during the round 15 Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Hurricanes. Photo / Getty Images.

The Hurricanes have kept their playoff aspirations alive with a 33-12 bonus point win over the Waratahs in Sydney tonight.

Julian Savea, Motu Matu'u, Conrad Smith and Chris Eaton scored the only tries of the match for the Hurricanes who earned the critical bonus point in the 79th minute when Eaton touched down. It means they jump to 45 points on the ladder and above the Highlanders.

Beauden Barrett had another exceptional night with the boot, knocking over three penalties and two conversions.

The Hurricanes now remain in contention for a finals berth, and showed great patience throughout - which was rewarded with two second-half tries to seal the result.

A simple error from Sitaleki Timani opened the way for the Hurricanes to score the first try of the match through winger Savea eight minutes before halftime.

The visitors were clinging to a 13-12 lead but, after Waratahs' prop Sekope Kepu bombed the best chance of the match - when he dropped the ball cold 22 metres out with Sarel Pretorius unmarked on his inside - the Hurricanes finished the job.

Devastating reserve hooker Matu'u benefited from some sharp passing to score in the 63rd minute, before skipper Smith crossed six minutes later when Berrick Barnes rushed out of the line for an intercept.

The Hurricanes claimed their crucial bonus point when Eaton crossed as the fulltime siren sounded for their first win over the Waratahs since 2006.

The Hurricanes now have a week off before preparing for their non-competition match with the Reds on the Sunshine Coast on Friday, June 15.

- AAP

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