Gregor Paul

Gregor Paul is the Herald on Sunday's rugby writer

First Take: Barrett's boot gets Hurricanes home

Andre Taylor of the Hurricanes is congratulated by teammates Beauden Barrett (L), TJ Perenara and Alapati Leiua (R) during the match between the Hurricanes and the Bulls. Photo / Getty Images.
Andre Taylor of the Hurricanes is congratulated by teammates Beauden Barrett (L), TJ Perenara and Alapati Leiua (R) during the match between the Hurricanes and the Bulls. Photo / Getty Images.

HURRICANES 25
BULLS 20

This was the game that nearly didn't make any sense. The Hurricanes won the scrum battle, were better at the lineout, kicked six penalties and seemed to have the ball for most of the night. And yet they nearly lost.

It would have been a travesty if they had. They really had no business getting anywhere near losing such was their dominance in the first 30 minutes and for periods of the second half.

But they couldn't find the clinical edge needed to put the Bulls away - too many mistakes: little ones that killed the opportunities they half created. The Bulls defence was pretty good, too and they took their two chances superbly to score two tries and cling on.

How it ended so close will remain a mystery. Like they did the previous week, the Hurricanes came out with a mentality of owning the game. They were high tempo, high energy and played all the rugby.

Like, all the rugby and the Bulls were in danger of disappearing without a trace.

Well, they would have been had it not been for their belligerence on defence. They tackled and they tackled and they tackled and for all their possession and territory, the Hurricanes could only manage 13 points for their efforts.

Somehow, after they failed to deal with a high kick late in the first half, they reached the break just three points ahead and yet it felt like the Bulls hadn't done a thing.

But the Hurricanes created enough pressure to win enough penalties and allow Beauden Barrett's boot to see them home.

Hurricanes 25 (A. Taylor try; B. Barrett con, 6 pens)
Bulls 20 (H. Pollard, J. Visser tries; J. Potgieter 2 pens, con; H. Pollard con)

- Herald on Sunday

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