A bit of the Border rugby club magic rubbed off on the champion Hurricanes on Friday night as a packed crowd at Waverley roared them to a comeback victory.

The Super Rugby champs turned round a 27-19 halftime deficit to beat the Crusaders 33-27 at Dallison Park in their final match before the season gets under way.

And that result was the icing on the cake for the faithful fans who thronged to the rugby outpost and were rewarded with some top-class action - and a great excuse to party.

The town was heaving with parked cars stretching back to the outskirts as a sellout 4500 crowd packed into the park. The Hurricanes black and yellow colours were everywhere and there were gumboots galore.


And South Taranaki provided a mixed bag of weather - overcast but fine in the first half; sunny and a torrential downpour in the second to make sure the players had a workout in all conditions.

With a black clown wig and painted face, Quinn Thompson was ecstatic at spending his 12th birthday watching the team he loves.

"It's the best birthday ever - we went to Rebel Sports and got a whole outfit. Go the Hurricanes!"