Jordie Barrett claimed a 20-point haul and Wes Goosen scored a try in each half as defending champions the Hurricanes moved into the Super Rugby semi-finals with a resounding 35-16 win over the Brumbies.
The Brumbies threatened to claim the scalp of the holders when they led 16-15 at half-time following tries from James Dargaville and Josh Mann-Rea at GIO Stadium on Friday.
But after Goosen and Barrett went over in the first half for Chris Boyd’s men, the Brumbies were kept scoreless after the break as the Hurricanes blew them away in Canberra to set up a clash with the Lions or Sharks.
The returning Dane Coles came off the bench to lay on a try for TJ Perenara, before Goosen completed a double. The trusty Barrett took his tally with the boot to 15 points in what ultimately proved to be a comfortable quarter-final victory.
The Brumbies ran out of steam in what proved to be coach Stephen Larkham’s final game in charge, but they gave the Hurricanes a scare in a last-eight encounter which saw Christian Lealiifano make his Super Rugby comeback after an 11-month absence following his leukemia diagnosis.
Game. Set. Match. SF Time! ? pic.twitter.com/S9BTyd20oA
— Hurricanes Rugby (@Hurricanesrugby) July 21, 2017
The fired-up Brumbies applied early pressure and caught the Hurricanes out by getting quick ball to give Dargaville the chance to dart over only three minutes in.
Wharenui Hawera’s conversion attempt struck an upright and the Brumbies had barely finished celebrating going in front when the onrushing Goosen burst away for a try after being picked out at the back of the lineout.
The Brumbies hit back with a Mann-Rea try when the Hurricanes were unable to stop a charging maul, but Hawera again struck the woodwork a matter of minutes after he had got off the mark with a penalty.
An alert Barrett dived over for a second Hurricanes try after a pass struck team-mate Ben May and landed invitingly for the New Zealand centre, who added a penalty after Hawera was also on target from the tee.
Two more Barrett penalties put the Hurricanes six points in front 14 minutes from time and Perenara gave them breathing space after Coles marked his comeback following a four-month absence by throwing a dummy before providing the assist for his captain.
Goosen added another try with time running out following an interception from Barrett, who added the extras as the Brumbies’ campaign was brought to a juddering halt in their own back yard.
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