Hurricanes break down Brumbies to reach semis

The Hurricanes have come from behind to advance to the Super Rugby semi-finals, with a 35-16 win over the Brumbies in Canberra.

It was far from a perfect performance from the defending champions as they struggled up front early and had to break down a rugged Brumbies defensive line to keep their hopes of back to back titles alive.

The match echoed the regular season meeting in Napier when the Hurricanes trailed at half-time before storming away with the match in the second spell. While it took longer for them to seal the result this time, the outcome almost felt inevitable as the Hurricanes repeatedly pummeled the hosts' defence, until returning hooker Dane Coles made the decisive break to put TJ Perenara in for the try that put the game beyond doubt.

The Brumbies were left unable to fire a shot in the second half, held scoreless, with their defensive effort clearly taking a toll.

The Hurricanes now have to wait until Sunday morning's clash between the Lions and the Sharks to determine their semi-final opponent.

A Lions win, will mean an unenviable trip to Johannesburg, while a Sharks upset would see them back in Wellington next week.

Action packed start

The scoring was opened by James Dargaville in the fourth minute, who cantered in to score on an overlap after a breakdown penalty.

However the Hurricanes struck back shortly after when Wes Goosen sliced through the Brumbies' defence to score a superb solo try.

A Hawera penalty put the hosts ahead again and they extended their lead after driving over the line from a line-out.

The Hurricanes closed the gap on an unconventional try after Perenara's short ball found the head of prop Ben May, with an alert Jordie Barrett pouncing on the loose ball to score.

An unlucky yellow card to Jeffery Toomaga-Allen for a high shot on Hawera just before half-time put the Hurricanes under immense pressure, but they held strong to trail by only one at the break.

After half-time the Hurricanes applied some pressure of their own, but some stout defence from the home side meant they were only rewarded to the tune of two Barrett penalties.

That was until Coles, in his first match back from long-term concussion issues, made a stunning break, finding Perenara on his inside for a try that essentially iced the game.

Unsung hero Goosen put the icing on the cake, when Beauden Barrett put him clear for his second try of the evening.

Hurricanes: 35 (Goosen 2, J Barrett, Perenara tries; J Barrett 3 cons, 3 pens)

Brumbies: 16 (Dargaville, Mann-Rea tries; Hawera 2 pens)