Perenara brace fires Hurricanes
TJ Perenara bagged a brace of tries as the Hurricanes made the Reds pay for their indiscipline by claiming a bonus-point 35-19 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
Samu Kerevi stunned the Super Rugby leaders with a quick-fire brace of his own as the Reds took a 12-3 lead early on, but after that Beauden Barrett's boot slowly brought the Wellington-based side back into the game before the tries began to flow.
Callum Gibbins and Julian Savea also crossed the whitewash for the Hurricanes, while Liam Gill dotted down in the second half for the Reds but he also blotted his copy book by getting sent to the sin bin.
After an emotional tribute to the Gallipoli centenary before the match, it was almost like the Reds were too caught up in the occasion and were making rash mistakes at the breakdown and conceding a host of penalties.
This made it easy for the Hurricanes to settle into the encounter and in the second minute Barrett punished the Reds by kicking over a penalty to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead - and also make the 23-year-old the all-time highest points scorer for the Hurricanes, overtaking David Holwell's record of 676 points .
The first real time the Reds maintained their discipline and kept the ball it led to a try.
After an impressive 11 phases the Reds shifted it out wide to Kerevi just inside the Hurricanes 22. The 21-year-old turned the tables on Savea, who normally wreaks havoc to opposition defenders, by leaving him for dead with a sumptuous sidestep to dart over.
James O'Connor missed the conversion but he nailed his second attempt soon after as Kerevi completed an almost carbon copy body-shift off his right foot and touched down at full stretch.
But instead of kicking on the Reds fell back into bad habits and Barrett cut the deficit back to 12-6 with a penalty around the half-hour mark, before two tries in three minutes changed the complexion completely.
First Perenara crashed over in the corner, profiting from strong running from Conrad Smith and a superb offload of Ma'a Nonu, and then flanker Gibbins went over after the Hurricanes pack did well to regather the ball and go through the phases after a wayward pass from Savea. Barrett converted both to make it 20-12 at the interval.
History repeated itself with the Reds sluggish from the off in the second half, with Barrett nailing another penalty, before they grew back into the contest.
With the second half six minutes old, Gill fired the Reds right back into contention by spinning out of two tackles to go in under the posts from close range. O'Connor added the extras to make it 23-19.
But Gill went from hero to zero 11 minutes later by getting himself sent to the sin bin for deliberately staying in an offside position, while O'Connor's evening was called to an end due to a failed concussion test.
In Gill's absence the Hurricanes wrapped up the victory as Savea showcased his power by brushing off two tackles to crash over in the corner and Perenara exploited a gaping hole in the Reds' defence to complete his brace. Barrett added the extras for the latter to complete the scoring.