Hurricanes see off Stormers
The Hurricanes held on to see off the challenge of the Stormers to take a 25-20 victory in Wellington on Friday.
The Canes did not score a point in the second half as the Stormers rallied after being 25-3 down at the break.
Nehe Milner-Skudder, Julian Savea and Beauden Barrett scored first-half tries for the Canes, while Barrett also kicked two penalties and two conversions.
A penalty try and a touchdown from Huw Jones put the Stormers in contention with two conversions and a penalty from fly-half Demetri Catrakilis and a penalty for replacement Kurt Coleman late in the game.
Barrett put the Hurricanes ahead in the ninth minute after Schalk Burger was penalised for not supporting his own bodyweight but it was quickly cancelled out by Catrakilis after the Stormers won a penalty at the scrum.
After that it was all one way traffic in the first-half with Barrett slotting another penalty before Milner-Skudder collected a cross-field kick to score the first try of the game.
Barrett converted before Milner-Skudder set up the Canes' second try by getting the ball out to Savea who slipped past Burger.
Barrett missed the extra two points but soon crossed himself after Jones made a break for the Stormers only for the Canes to turn over the ball inside their 22 then pass the ball to the fly-half, who scored. Barrett converted his own try to give the hosts a commanding lead.
The second half was a different story, though, as the Stormers dominated and were awarded a penalty try from a scrum, Catrakilis adding the conversion.
Their second try came after a patient build up of 15 phases which culminated in Jones scoring in the corner, Catrakilis again adding the extras.
Coleman added a penalty for the visitors in the 74th minute to put them within five points of the Hurricanes, but after a late arm wrestle, the Canes held on for victory.