New Zealand teams fight out a thrilling clash – see all the video highlights here.
The Wellington Hurricanes defeated the Canterbury Crusaders 29-26 Friday in a see-sawing match played at blistering pace between the New Zealand rivals.
The Hurricanes scored four tries to three to earn just their second win of the Super 15 season and leave the Crusaders at the bottom of the New Zealand conference.
Johnny McNicholl managed two first-half tries for the home team but it was a wonder try from Alapati Leiua that settled the match, with the winger shrugging off five tacklers as he ran almost the length of the field to score in the dying stages.
The Hurricanes attacked from the outset and the pressure paid off with a try to Faifili Levave in the first 10 minutes,
The flanker was in the right place at the right time when Nafi Tuitavake spilled the ball under pressure from Julian Savea, pouncing on the mistake and racing to the try line.
TJ Perenara added a second five-pointer when he left the Crusaders defence standing a few minutes later, with Beauden Barrett slotting the conversion to make it 17-3.
The Crusaders clawed their way back into the match when McNicholl gathered Andy Ellis’ pin-point kick and touched down between the posts.
McNicholl then scored a second after a patient build up from the Crusaders and a penalty to Tom Taylor gave the home team an 18-17 lead at half time.
The Hurricanes regained the advantage straight after the restart when Julian Savea snatched a loose pass then chased his own chip kick for a try.
The Crusaders hit back through Colin Slade, who was set up by Tom Taylor after a sloppy Hurricanes line-out.
Leiua then sliced through the Crusaders to give the Hurricanes a three-point buffer that proved decisive.