Hurricanes snatch thrilling win over Chiefs

09:40, Jul 14 2012
Hurricanes v Stormers
Stormers fans show their support during their 2012 Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes at Newlands.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Hurricanes celebrate a try against the Stormers at Newlands.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Stormers No.8 Nick Koster attempts to break Hurricanes flankers Faifili Levave and Jack Lam at Newlands.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Siya Kolisi of the Stormers attempts to break through the Hurricanes line at Newlands.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Hurricanes first five Beauden Barrett attempts to offload as Stormers flanker Duane Vermeulen makes the tackle at Newlands.
Hurricanes v Stormers
Stormers captain Schalk Burger is tackled by Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith and centre Tim Bateman at Newlands.
Tim Bateman
Tim Bateman makes a break during the Hurricanes win over the Lions in round two of the Super 15.
Beauden Barrett
Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes spreads the ball.
Victor Vito
Victor Vito of the Hurricanes runs with the ball.
Alwin Hollenbach
Lions forward Alwin Hollenbach is tackled by a trio of Hurricanes, including Victor Vito (right).
TJ Perenara
Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara clears the ball from the base of the ruck.
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Julan Savea of the Hurricanes looks to break from a tackle by Salesi Ma'afu of the Force.
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TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes runs the ball in for a try against the Western Force.
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Matt Hodgson of the Force gets tackled by Victor Vito and Ben May of the Hurricanes.
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Julan Savea of the Hurricanes looks to push forward against the Western Force.
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James Broadhurst of the Hurricanes gets his pass away before being tackled by Sam Wykes of the Force.
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TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes and Hosea Gear of the Highlanders tangle.
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Cory Jane of the Hurricanes on his way to scoring a try during the first half against the Highlanders.
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Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes and Colin Slade of the Highlanders watch the ball.
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Kade Poki of the Highlanders lifts TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes in the tackle.
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TJ Perenara of the Highlanders lifts Kade Poki of the Hurricanes.
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Julian Savea of the Hurricanes on the charge against the Highlanders.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes wing Cory Jane scores aginst the Blues at Eden Park.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor steps past Blues fullback Lachie Munro as he heads to the try-line.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes wing Cory Jane and Blues halfback Alby Mathewson collide.
Blues v Hurricanes
Blues second five eighth Ma'a Nonu dives over to score in the tackle of Hurricanes flanker Jack Lam.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes first five-eighth Beauden Barrett leaves Blues fullback Lachie Munro sprawling as he makes the break to set up the match winning try in the last seconds of the game.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith dives over to score in the dying seconds against the Blues.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes first five-eighth Beauden Barrett leaves Blues fullback Lachie Munro sprawling as he makes the break to set up the match winning try.
Blues v Hurricanes
Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith, wing Cory Jane and halfback TJ Perenara celebrate at the final whistle.
Hurricanes gallery
Ryno Benjamin of the Cheetahs goes in for a try.
Hurricanes gallery
Andre Taylor (right) of the Hurricanes is tackled by Tewis de Bruyn of the Cheetahs.
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Willie le Roux (right) of the Cheetahs is tackled by Cory Jane of the Hurricanes.
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Hennie Daniller (left) of the Cheetahs makes a break under pressure from Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes.
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Referee Glen Jackson awards a white card to Sharks' Keegan Daniel and Hurricanes' Conrad Smith.
Hurricanes gallery
A fight breaks out between Hurricanes and Sharks players at Yarrow Stadium.
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Hurricanes' TJ Perenara makes a try saving tackle on Sharks' Charl McLeod .
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Hurricanes' Jack Lam makes a tackle on Sharks' Frederic Michalak.
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Hurricanes' Jeremy Thrush passes against the Crusaders.
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Hurricanes' Dane Coles on the charge against the Crusaders.
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Hurricanes' Jeremy Thrush and Crusaders' Kieran Read battle for the ball.
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Hurricanes' Victor Vito on the charge against the Crusaders.
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Crusaders' Wyatt Crockett hits out at Hurricanes' Chris Eaton.
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Crusaders' Israel Dagg is tackled by Hurricanes' Ben May.
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Hurricanes' prop Ben May makes a charge down field.
Cory Jane
Cory Jane makes a break against the Chiefs.
TJ Perenara
TJ Perenara tackles Sonny Bill Williams
TJ Perenara
TJ Perenara tries to get past Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs.
Victor Vito
Victor Vito in action against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes v Blues
Hurricanes' Karl Lowe on the charge against the Blues.
Hurricanes v Blues
Victor Vito wins the ball over Ma'a Nonu.
Hurricanes v Blues
Cory Jane slips through a Piri Weepu tackle.
Hurricanes v Blues
Blues' Piri Weepu passes against the Hurricanes.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Victor Vito of the Hurricanes passes against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Nasi Manu of the Highlanders is tackled against the Hurricanes.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Hurricanes players celebrate their 26-20 win over the Highlanders.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Adam Thomson of the Highlanders lining up a tackle on Jeffery Toomaga-Allen of the Hurricanes.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Mike Delany of the Highlanders is tackled by Tim Bateman of the Hurricanes.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Hosea Gear of the Highlanders is tackled by Tim Bateman and Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes is not happy at Adam Thomson of the Highlanders being allowed his try.
Hurricanes v Brumbies
Andre Taylor in action against the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium.
Hurricanes v Brumbies
Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen scores a try against the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium.
Hurricanes v Brumbies
Ben May charges up field against the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium.
Hurricanes v Brumbies
TJ Perenara scores against the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium.
Hurricanes v Brumbies
Andre Taylor in action against the Brumbies at Westpac Stadium.
Hurricanes v Rebels
Andre Taylor celebrates a try against the Rebels.
Hurricanes v Rebels
Julian Savea runs in to score against the Rebels.
Hurricanes v Rebels
Conrad Smith attacks against the Rebels.
Hurricanes v Rebels
Julian Savea scores again in the second half against the Rebels.
Andre Taylor
Andre Taylor of the Hurricanes dives over for a try in the Hurricanes 66-24 win over the Rebels.
Beauden Barrett
Beauden Barrett breaks away during the Hurricanes 66-24 win over the Rebels.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Chris Eaton of the Hurricanes passes against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Victor Vito of the Hurricanes grimaces as he holds an injured shoulder against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Motu Matu'u of the Hurricanes scores try against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Waratahs
Chris Eaton of the Hurricanes scores a try against the Waratahs.
Hurricanes v Crusaders
Hurricanes players celebrate their win against the Crusaders.
Hurricanes v Crusaders
Crusaders' Richie McCaw gets up-ended going for the high ball.
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Crusader Sean Maitland takes on Hurricane Tim Bateman.
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Crusaders' Wyatt Crockett on the burst.
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Zac Guildford of the Crusaders runs away to score a try against the Hurricanes.
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Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes celebrates after their win over the Crusaders.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Hurricanes' Motu Matu'u celebrates their win over the Chiefs.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Hurricanes' Julian Savea scores a try against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Chiefs' Sonny Bill Williams in action against the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Chiefs' Liam Messam in action against the Hurricanes.

Whatever happens next, the Hurricanes believe they won more than just the match in rounding out the regular season with a heart-stopping 28-25 win over the Chiefs last night.

The result was as unlikely as the Hurricanes' season, and in front of 23,549 screaming converts coach Mark Hammett's men added another seemingly impossible result to their against-the-odds season.

Hooker Dane Coles' 85th minute try keeps the playoff dream alive till early Sunday morning, by which time other results will have decided their final place on the Super Rugby ladder.

Chiefs v Highlanders
Sonny Bill Williams jumps above Josh Bekhuis.
Chiefs v Highlanders
Chris Noakes comes in to tackle Fritz Lee.
Chiefs v Highlanders
Sonny Bill Williams on the charge against the Highlanders.
Chiefs v Highlanders
Adam Thomson passes against the Chiefs.
Chiefs v Highlanders
Andrew Hore trys to stop Lelia Masaga as he scores the Chiefs' first try.
Tim Nanai-Williams
Chiefs fullback Tim Nanai-Williams eludes the desperate dive of Blues halfback Alby Mathewson.
Aaron Cruden
Aaron Cruden kicks for goal during the Chiefs round two win over the Blues.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow
Tawera Kerr-Barlow dives over for his try during the Chiefs round two win over the Blues.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow
Tawera Kerr-Barlow dives over for his try during the Chiefs round two win over the Blues.
Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden and Jerome Kaino
Piri Weepu and Jerome Kaino of the Blues chase down Aaron Cruden and the ball.
Chiefs players celebrate
Chiefs players Andrew Horrell, Sam Cane and Aaron Cruden celebrate their victory over the Blues.
Richard Kahui
Chiefs centre Richard Kahui watches anxiously from the bench in the second half.
Tim Nanai-Williams and Israel Dagg
Chiefs wing Tim Nanai-Williams passes the ball in-field as he is pushed to the ground by Israel Dagg.
George Whitelock and Liam Messam
Crusaders No 6 George Whitelock brings down a kick-off, under pressure from his Chiefs opposite Liam Messam.
Chiefs v Crusaders gallery
Tim Nanai-Williams of the Chiefs picks up a loose ball under pressure from Israel Dagg of the Crusaders.
Chiefs v Crusaders gallery
Tawera Kerr-Barlow of the Chiefs is tackled by Kieran Read of the Crusaders.
Chiefs v Crusaders gallery
Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs gets a kick away while being tackled against the Crusaders at McLean Park.
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George Whitelock (L) and Corey Flynn of the Crusaders tackle Robbie Robinson of the Chiefs.
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The Chiefs' Arizona Taumalolo celebrates with Brodie Retallick at the end of their match against the Crusaders.
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Hika Elliot, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford, and Israel Dagg ham it up after their match at McLean Park.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
A bloody Liam Messam in action against the Brumbies.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
Aaron Cruden in action against the Brumbies.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
Liam Messam on the charge against the Brumbies.
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Richard Kahui on the charge against the Brumbies.
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Robbie Robinson passes against the Brumbies.
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Sonny Bill Williams could command top dollar to secure a contract after his stint with the Chiefs.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
Arizona Taumalolo scores a try against the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium.
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Tawera Kerr-Barlow on the charge against the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium.
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Chiefs players celebrate after Liam Messam scores against the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
Liam Messam scores against the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium.
Chiefs v Brumbies gallery
Tanerau Latimer on the charge against the Waratahs at Waikato Stadium.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams charges at the Force defence in Perth.
Lelia Masaga
Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga performs 'The Dougie' after scoring against the Force.
Sona Taumalolo
A tough man to bring down, Sona Taumalolo carries a Force player on his back.
Richard Kahui
Richard Kahui runs clear of Winston Stanley at nib Stadium.
Sonny Bill Williams
Piet van Zyl of the Cheetahs mid flight while playing the Chiefs.
Sonny Bill Williams
Richard Kahui of the Chiefs in action against the Cheetahs.
Sonny Bill Williams
Hennie Daniller of the Cheetahs is tackled by the Chiefs.
Sonny Bill Williams
Craig Clarke, centre, of the Chiefs is tackled by Robert Ebersohn of the Cheetahs.
Chiefs v Sharks
Tawera Kerr-Barlow in action aginst the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs v Sharks
Asaeli Tikoirotuma in action aginst the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs v Sharks
Tawera Kerr-Barlow in action aginst the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs v Sharks
Sonny Bill Williams in action aginst the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs v Sharks
Charl Mcleod of the Sharks looks to tackle Alex Bradley at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs v Sharks
Alex Bradley in action aginst the Sharks at Mr Price Kings Park.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs' players pay tribute to Sir Fred Allen prior to their game against the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs' hooker Hika Elliot makes a charge down field.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs' second-five eighth Sony Bill Williams attempts to offload in the tackle.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs second five-eighth Sonny Bill Williams is tackled by Lions No8 Joshua Strauss.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga is tackled by Lions wing Lionel Mapoe and fullback Andries Coetzee.
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Chiefs halfback Brendon Leonard is tackled by Lions No8 Joshua Strauss.
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Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna reacts to the try of captain Craig Clarke.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs captain Craig Clarke drives over to score.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Chiefs first five-eighth Aaron Cruden avoids the tackles of Lions fullback Andries Coetzee.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Jake Schatz of the Reds is tackled by Chiefs players.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Aaron Cruden of the Cheifs makes a break past Jake Schatz of the Reds.
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Richard Kahui of the Chiefs is treated after being injured against the Reds.
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Will Genia of the Reds celebrates with team mates after scoring against the Chiefs.
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Mike Harris of the Reds passes against the Chiefs.
Chiefs gallery 2012
Jake Schatz of the Reds is tackled against the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium.
Asaeli Tikoirotuma
Chiefs left wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma dives over for a try against the Bulls.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams makes a breakaway in the Chiefs win over the Bulls.
Sam Cane
Sam Cane celebrates his try against the Bulls.
Aaron Cruden
Aaron Cruden in action against the Bulls.
Blues v Chiefs
Chiefs and Blues players have a group hug at North Harbour Stadium.
Blues v Chiefs
Asaeli Tikoirotuma chases the ball.
Blues v Chiefs
Blues player Francis Saili is tackled by Chiefs player Sona Taumalolo.
Blues v Chiefs
Sonny Bill Williams tackles Francis Saili.
Highlanders v Chiefs
Chiefs player Sonny Bill Williams is tackled by Highlanders player Tamati Ellison.
Highlanders v Chiefs
Highlanders players lie gutted on the ground after losing to the Chiefs 21-27.
Highlanders v Chiefs
Highlanders player Hosea Gear about to be tackled by Sonny Bill Williams.
Highlanders v Chiefs
Highlanders player Jarrad Hoeata is tackled.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Richie McCaw comes in to tackle Sona Taumalolo.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Owen Franks tackles Brodie Retallick as he scores his first half try.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Sonny Bill Williams scores his second half try.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Israel Dagg takes a high ball in front of Aaron Cruden.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Sam Cane gets a high ball.
Chiefs v Crusaders
Hika Elliot fends of Israel Dagg.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Hurricanes' Motu Matu'u celebrates their win over the Chiefs.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Hurricanes' Julian Savea scores a try against the Chiefs.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Chiefs' Sonny Bill Williams in action against the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Chiefs' Liam Messam in action against the Hurricanes.

Whatever happens, Hammett will walk away from the 2012 season with a smile.

"Anything can happen and hopefully it does. But we're really proud of the team," he said. "They've never given up. The big goal since our foundation camp was to win respect... I think the boys have done the job in that respect."

Last night's win seemed impossible 20 minutes earlier when Aaron Cruden had intercepted a Beauden Barrett pass to race away for a try and a 22-18 lead.

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Conrad Smith
YOU BEAUTY: Conrad Smith celebrates the Hurricanes winning try against the Chiefs.

Hammett believed that had been the turning point, but he and his side never gave up on one more miracle in a miraculous season.

Two earlier tries to Hurricanes wing Julian Savea had highlighted their attacking threat and Conrad Smith's simply doesn't know how to lie down.

They threw everything at the final minutes and came away with the result.

In the end it hung on an agonising wait after referee Jonathan Kaplan referred to the video referee Mike Fraser who, after countless replays, brought the house down by ruling a try.

It will be talked about at length with replays inconclusive to many, but patrons hugged each other and the Hurricanes players embraced as Hammett's fairy tale season took another twist.

The win lifts the Hurricanes to fourth place. They will wait till early Sunday morning before they know their fate, but will not finish lower than eighth.

Neither team left fully satisfied with the Chiefs failing to get the win that would have helped them secure top spot on the Super Rugby ladder, and the Hurricanes one try short of the four try bonus.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said his side was "poor" and "too predictable" in their attack and had bombed too many line breaks after an early try to halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Both sides ran themselves to a standstill in the first half before settling into a gripping struggle with the Hurricanes up 18-15 at the break.

Barrett banged over a penalty in the 62nd minute to close the gap to 22-21 as both kickers struggled with the conditions, but Cruden seemed to have had the final say when he made it 25-21.

The Hurricanes had made a sloppy start, a poor pass from Andre Taylor, a penalty for advancing ahead of the kicker, then a soft try to Kerr-Barlow.

It was 3-7 before the home side knew it but they haven't blinked all season and rose to the challenge.

The Chiefs played the opening half through the middle of the ruck and Kerr-Barlow was sniping at every opportunity and the forwards grinding away.

It was a timely reminder of TJ Perenara's absence, but his replacement Chris Eaton was getting ball on a platter and the pace of the Hurricanes attack was electric.

Savea's remarkable season continued with two tries as the Hurricanes shot out to a 15-7 lead, one a sweeping 80 metre movement and the other the result of quick ruck ball.

Openside Jack Lam cried off with a sternum injury, then May was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle on Sonny Bill Williams that didn't warrant even a penalty.

Whatever the case, it cost the Hurricanes eight points. Ben Tameifuna crashed over just as May was set to return to the field to tie the scores at 15-all.

But the Hurricanes were in their element as the odds stacked against them and got home in the end.

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