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14-man Hurricanes overcome Sharks

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14-man Hurricanes overcome late scare to beat Sharks in Durban

The Hurricanes have overcome a second half scare – and a late red card – to hold off the Sharks and stay in with a chance to top the Super Rugby ladder.

In a brutal, physical, contest, the Hurricanes nearly let a 20-3 lead slip, as the Sharks came back to within three points early in the second half.

However, Ardie Savea won a penalty which Beauden Barrett knocked over, before Wes Goosen crossed with 15 minutes to go to seal an eventual 30-17 victory.

The win was slightly soured however by a red card to Vaea Fifita for a high, no-arms tackle, and tempers flared in the final minutes as well, as a brawl nearly broke out to conclude the match.

In the end, the Hurricanes’ early buffer – started by tries to Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape, and continued by a superb performance from Savea – proved enough to hold on, giving the Hurricanes their first win in Durban since 2005.

In further good news, All Blacks hooker Dane Coles also made his return from injury off the bench in the second half, as did flanker Gareth Evans.

The win moves the Hurricanes to 44 points, keeping them in with an outside chance of catching the Crusaders for top spot in both the New Zealand conference and the overall standings.

The Crusaders sit nine points ahead after their shock loss to the Chiefs, but the Hurricanes have a game in hand, meaning they would have to beat the Lions and Blues in their final two games – with at least one bonus point – and hope the Crusaders lose to the Rebels at home.

Hurricanes 30 (Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Wes Goosen tries; Beauden Barrett 3 cons, 3 pens)
Sharks 17 (Aphelele Faasi, Juan Schoeman tries; Curwin Bosch 2 cons, pen).
HT: 20-10

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission here.

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14-man Hurricanes overcome late scare to beat Sharks in Durban