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Canes conquer Chiefs

Published 13/06/2015

All Black Conrad Smith scored one of the Hurricanes' three tries
All Black Conrad Smith scored one of the Hurricanes' three tries

The Hurricanes rounded off their Super Rugby regular season with a 14th win in 16 games, condemning the Chiefs to an away game in the first round of the play-offs.

Trailing 13-0 after Bryce Heem's try and two Marty McKenzie penalties, the table-topping Canes responded with two quickfire tries before half-time, Conrad Smith adding to a penalty score.

And James Marshall - a dominant figure as his brother Tom endured a miserable day at full-back for the Chiefs - scored in the second half to secure victory.

The Chiefs went into the game needing to win by a daunting 37 points, and with a bonus point, to snatch fourth place away from the Highlanders and play their qualifying final at home.

The conditions meant a slow start but they finally got moving in the 15th minute when Brad Shields' overthrown offload was intercepted by Heem, who burst clear down his wing to score.

McKenzie converted and added a penalty 10 minutes later, with the Canes having been forced to substitute All Blacks wing Cory Jane due to injury.

A second McKenzie penalty extended the lead but the Hurricanes roared back before half-time, starting with a contentious try.

Nehe Milner-Skudder's brilliant off-load was fumbled by Julian Savea, but Tom Marshall was found to have shoulder-charged the wing rather than tackling with his arms and a penalty try was awarded.

Marshall was sin-binned to boot, and watched from the sideline as his brother James added the conversion.

And the visitors immediately made the most of their numerical advantage, James Marshall shimmying through and sending Smith over before again converting from in front of the posts for a 14-13 interval lead.

A knock-on denied Smith his second try with the Chiefs still a man short but James Marshall continued to have the upper hand in the sibling rivalry once it resumed, intercepting a pass intended for his brother to score under the posts and convert.

Hurricanes replacement Sam McNicol's try did not stand as he got back up without releasing the ball after a tackle, while Damian McKenzie knocked on in front of the try line at the other end.

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