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Hurricanes farewell Ngani Laumape with bonus point win over Reds to keep season alive

By Alex McLeod

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Queensland Reds halfback Tate McDermott has put his hand up for a Wallabies start but couldn’t help his side to a win over the Hurricanes in their final Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash.

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The speedy No.9 was among the Reds’ best in their 43-14 loss at Sky Stadium in Wellington, staking a claim for the Test jersey for next month’s series against France.

The Wallabies squad will be announced on Sunday with the first Test in Sydney on July 7.

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The bonus-point win on Friday evening kept the Hurricanes in the hunt for an unlikely top-two finals berth, with that decider set for Saturday week.

Despite the scoreline, there was little to split the teams for much of the match, although the Reds were guilty of missed tackles and failed to make the most of their attacking opportunities.

The contest didn’t get the tight finish it deserved with the Reds the victims of a bizarre second-half call by the referee James Doleman.

Trailing 22-14, Queensland’s Bryce Hegarty and first-half tryscorer Ngani Laumape raced to the ball in the in-goal.

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Despite Laumape being very unlikely to score, the TMO and Doleman ruled that Hegarty deliberately knocked the ball dead and awarded a penalty try as well as yellow-carding the five-eighth.

It turned the match and left commentators scratching their heads.

It was the second time the Reds were down to 14 with winger Filipo Daugunu given a suspect yellow card early in the second half for tackling from an offside position.

And both times the Hurricanes took advantage, with fullback Ruben Love and flanker Devan Flanders both crossing.

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Test hooker Dane Coles finished with two tries among the six-try haul.

The Reds, who won Super Rugby AU, were down 10-7 at halftime, with McDermott scoring their only try when the Hurricanes were also short with prop Tyrel Lomax yellow-carded when his shoulder collected Taniela Tupou.

Collecting the ball from the back of the s crum, McDermott darted across the line untouched in t he 27th minute.

Laumape had opened the scoring in the fourth minute, making a statement to New Zealand Rugby.

The match was his last for the Hurricanes, saying he was forced to head overseas to France after his contract offer from the sport’s governing body in NZ was “asking me to take less income”.

Hurricanes 43 (Tries to Ngani Laumape, Ruben Love, Dane Coles (2) and Devan Flanders and penalty try; 4 conversions and penalty to Jordie Barrett; yellow card to Tyrel Lomax)

Reds 14 (Tries to Tate McDermott and Brandon Paenga-Amosa; 2 conversions to Bryce Hegarty; yellow card to Hegarty)

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Hurricanes farewell Ngani Laumape with bonus point win over Reds to keep season alive

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