DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND (AP) – Captain Ardie Savea scored a sensational match-winning try in the final minute yesterday to lift the Wellington-based Hurricanes to a 33-32 win over the Auckland-based Blues in the second round of Super Rugby Pacific.
The Hurricanes trailed 32-14 in the 71st minute but came storming home with two late tries to secure their first win of the season after an opening-round loss to the Christchurch-
First winger Salesi Rayasi completed a hat trick of tries by touching down in the left-hand corner with nine minutes remaining to move the Hurricanes to within six points of the Blues.
Then centre Bailyn Sullivan, who was the Hurricanes’ best player, made a brilliant outside break and timed his pass to Savea who sprinted down the right touch, cut infield and pushed of two defenders to score under the posts.
The conversion clinched the Hurricanes’ win but still there was drama. The Blues disputed the conversion, claiming it hadn’t gone between the posts and several replays were needed before the Hurricanes’ win was confirmed.
“I’m lost for words, lost for words,” a breathless Savea said. “I’m just proud of the boys.
“We had about eight minutes to go and we were down by 10 or 12 and the messages just were to do our next job and do it with intent.”
Hooker Kurt Eklund scored two tries and winger Caleb Clark added another in the first half when the Blues were dominant.