Super Rugby Pacific: Hurricanes overwhelm Reds to claim early trans-Tasman bragging rights

The Hurricanes have claimed first trans-Tasman bragging rights for the Kiwis in Super Rugby Pacific 2023, overwhelming Queensland Reds 47-13 in an error-plagued encounter at Townsville.

Humidity affected the handling of both sides, but after leading just 16-13 at halftime, the visitors piled on 31 unanswered points, including five tries - one of them a penalty try - during the second half.

The home side enjoyed the early advantage through two penalties from first-five Tom Lynagh - youngest son of World Cup-winning Wallabies legend Michael Lynagh - and then the opening try to fullback Jordan Petaia.

Aidan Morgan in action for the Hurricanes
Aidan Morgan in action for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Getty Images

But the Hurricanes immediately struck back with a try to centre Billy Proctor and Jordie Barrett added a penalty for a slender advantage at the break.

Soon after the break, the Reds conceded a penalty try and flanker Seru Uru was dismissed to the sin bin for bringing down a maul on the goal-line. Before Uru could return, Hurricanes halfback Cam Roigard compounded the agony with a try that broke Queensland's resistance.

The visitors also lost flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi to a yellow card, but by then, his team were so dominant, they were able to add tries to replacement halfback Jamie Booth and winger Julian Savea during his absence.

Prop Tyrel Lomax capped the performance with a try after the final siren, as Barrett hobbled to the sideline, after being hit in a heavy tackle. 

"It was a great second half," admitted Hurricanes coach Jason Holland. "[At halftime], we just talked about holding onto the ball, to be honest.

"It's pretty warm out here and defending was pretty tough, but we were a bit more accurate in the second half and finally broke them down.

"We always knew first game coming up here was going to be tough. The big thing we talked about was the front row [replacements] - we were always going to go 40-40 and I think that was massive in the second half.

"The first-half guys did a really good job and having the energy of that front row to come on was massive. The 6-2 bench with loosies to come on was also massive." 

The Hurricanes can claim another Aussie scalp next Friday, when they take on the Rebels at the Melbourne 'Super Round'.

Hurricanes 47 (Proctor, Booth, J Savea, Lomax & Roigard tries; penalty try; Barrett 3 penalties & 3 conversions) Reds 13 (Petaia try; Lynagh 2 penalties & conversion)

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