Hurricanes 38
Sharks 22

If there were any lingering concerns over the Hurricanes' attacking abilities following the departure of Beauden Barrett, his brother will undoubtedly have helped to quell them.

Jordie Barrett has produced a standout performance in the Hurricanes' 38-22 win over the Sharks tonight - a victory that continues the Hurricanes' upwards progression following their shutout at the hands of the Stormers and scrappy win over the Jaguares.

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Sure, this one was scrappy too – and the Hurricanes were, on two occasions, inches away from disaster – but four points are in the bag, and enough attacking enterprise was on show to signify that – at home at least – they will remain a difficult proposition for all comers.

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For all the debate over who should start at No 10 for Jason Holland's side, the answer may be less relevant than initially assumed, with Barrett looking at home when stepping up from fullback to assume primary playmaking duties.

His kicking game - from tee and hand - was a prominent skill unleashed tonight, as the Hurricanes opted for several cross-field kicks as an attacking weapon. The first was indicative of Barrett's high-risk game, and possibly not an option that would be warmly welcomed at the international level, but this time proved to be successful.

Jordie Barrett had reasons to smile with the Hurricanes' win over the Sharks. Photo / Photosport
Jordie Barrett had reasons to smile with the Hurricanes' win over the Sharks. Photo / Photosport

Barrett's first cross-kick saw Sharks winger Madosh Tambwe fly to intercept it in midair, attempting to streak away for an untouched try, only for the ball to soar past the fingertips and into the hands of Ngani Laumape, who then skinned a defender on a 70 metre dash, to cross in the corner.

The second, from first-five Jackson Garden-Bachop, was even closer, with Sanele Nohamba contesting the cross-kick with Ben Lam – again with acres of space looming if he won the aerial battle. But, once again, the Hurricanes came out on top, with Lam winning the duel and brushing off two more defenders on his way to the line.

On another night the Sharks could have been on their merry way to 10 points, but criticise them for poor anticipation or credit the Hurricanes for risks well taken, the ultimate result was another win at home for the Hurricanes – the 14th in a row on New Zealand soil against a South African side.

This was a notable scalp too, after the Sharks had looked so impressive in beating the Highlanders last week, and looked dangerous on attack for long periods.

An 80 metre intercept and a big bust up the middle led to two first-half tries and a tied contest at halftime, and while the Hurricanes will still have some defensive concerns stemming from this performance, Lam's second half double – aided by Barrett's boot – ensured it was a happy homecoming.

Hurricanes 38 (B. Lam 2, W. Goosen, N. Laumape, D. Coles tries; J. Barrett 5 cons, pen)
Sharks 22 (M. Tambwe, T. Paul, J. Meyer tries; B Chamberlain con, S. Nohamba con, pen)
HT: 17-17

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