It was another great weekend off Super Rugby Aotearoa which saw 12 tries being scored in the two matches and the Crusaders taken the top spot on the log after three games.
With the Crusaders and the Blues meeting next week it just may be the unofficial final for the tournament with the winner the possible winner off the tournament.
The Hurricanes got their first win on Sunday when they beat the Chiefs who are still without a win so far.
It was again two tries in the final four minutes that took the game away from the home side, scoring five tries in the match, two from Will Jordan, two from Tom Christie and one by Sevu Reece.
Richie Mo’unga got the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty to take an early 3-0 lead for the visitors.
They also scored the first try off the match when Will Jordan went over for the first off his two tries in the game.
The local fans had something to shot about when Shannon Frizell got their side first try of the match after the TMO agreed with the referee decision.
This made it a one point game with the Crusaders leading 8-7.
The Highlanders then took the lead when Smith had a brilliant break which disrupted the Crusaders defence. This saw Panuvai getting over to score for the Highlanders.
Richie Mo’unga kept the visitors in the game with a penalty as he reduced the lead to 14-11.
He leveled the scores minuts later at 14-all with another penalty but saw Hunt get one over just before halftime to give the home side the lead 17-14, at the break.
The Crusaders got the lead back early in the second half when Christie went over for his first try.
This gave the Crusaders a 21-17 lead.
Hunt kept the Highlanders in the game with a penalty to reduced the lead again to one point but it was here were the Crusaders started to show why they have been the best side in Super Rugby for so many years when Reece got over for his try.
He made space were their was none to power over the line to take the lead for the Crusaders to 26-20.
Just for good measure the Crusaders scored two more tries through Christie and Jordan to take the scoreboard to 40-20.
Highlanders 20 (17) Tries: Shannon Frizell, Ngane Punivai Conversions: Mitch Hunt Penalties: Hunt (2)
Crusaders 40 (14) Tries: Will Jordan (2), Tom Christie (2), Sevu Reece Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (3) Penalties: Mo’unga (3)
The Hurricanes got their first win off the tournament even though they played with 14 men for the better part of 20 minutes.
The Chiefs did came back at them in the second half but the Hurricanes got the win 25-18 at the end after leading 20-3 at the break.
With both teams desperate for a win the Hurricanes had the better start to the game and got their first try off the match when Kobus van Wyk rounded off some dominate play.
This gave them a 7-0 lead.
Penalties came think and fast in the opening period of the game which did not see any team really getting the upper hand.
The Chiefs got their first points though the boot off McKenzie to reduce the lead to 7-3.
The Hurricanes extended their lead with a penalty before we saw some great hands from the visitors which led to Du’Plessis Kirifi ‘s try.
The half ended with a massive penalty from Jordie Barrett who landed a 60 meter kick to take the Hurricanes lead to 20-3 at the break.
The second half started with the Chiefs getting a penalty over through McKenzie to reduce the lead to 20-6, which followed with too many penalties by the Hurricanes and ended up in a yellow card as the referee lost his patience.
The yellow card to Scrafton gave the Chiefs the opportunity to get back in the game but again they could not finish off some great oppertunities. In fact it was the Hurricanes that scored next with another try by Van Wyk to extend their lead to 25-6.
With Scrafton just back after his sin bin, the Chiefs were on attack and with the Hurricanes not getting back ten, Scrafton saw a red card coming out off the pocket off the referee.
As it was the second yellow the referee had to show him the red card which saw the end off his game.
This gave the Chiefs a slight opening to get back in the game with the lead being reduced to 25-13.
The home side launched a late comeback effort when Boshier got over in the corner but it was to little to late for the Chiefs who again came up short on the scoreboard.
Chiefs – Tries: Penalty try, Lachlan Boshier. Penalties: McKenzie (2).
Hurricanes – Tries: Kobus van Wyk (2), Du’Plessis Kirifi. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (2). Penalties: Barrett (2)