The Hurricanes held off a hard-finishing Otago Highlanders for a 17-11 Super Rugby Aotearoa victory in Wellington on Sunday hailed as “massive” by captain TJ Perenara.
The Hurricanes were cruising at 17-0 ahead, commanding more than 66 percent of possession in the second half, before the Highlanders came to life.
On Saturday, the Force were handed a rude awakening to top flight rugby, with the Waratahs scoring 23 unanswered points to overwhelm them in their first game of Super Rugby in nearly three years.
The Crusaders, stung by what they felt was a dubious refereeing decision, stormed back to beat the Blues 26-15 and maintain a phenomenal home record in Christchurch on Saturday.
Friday’s Super Rugby AU fixtire saw an innovation to inject extra life into Australian Super Rugby got the thumbs up from players and coaches despite a maiden “Super Time” failing to separate the Reds and Melbourne Rebels.
The new rule sends a match into an extra five minutes each way if it is tied after 80 minutes, with the first to score from either a drop goal, penalty kick, or try, winning.
It was among a slew of tweaked regulations introduced ahead of the domestic Super Rugby AU, which kicked off last week, and used for the first time on Friday night when the two teams were 18-18 at full-time.
Neither side could break the deadlock in extra time, but the concept was praised, with Rebels skipper Dane Haylett-Petty even suggesting they should play on until someone does score