17 Jul 2016

Hurricanes top Super Rugby

12:41 pm on 17 July 2016

After 17 rounds and 135 matches of the regular season the quarter-finalists for the 2016 Super Rugby tournament have been determined with the Hurricanes coming out on top.

Callum Gibbins scores in the embrace of David Havili.

Callum Gibbins scores in the embrace of David Havili. Photo: Photosport

The four Conference winners will host the four wildcard teams in the quarter-finals.

The Hurricanes won the hotly contested battle of the New Zealand Conference to finish as Conference winner and top tournament seed to secure its home quarter-final. The Hurricanes beat the Crusaders in Christchurch, while the Highlanders beat the Chiefs 25-15 in Dunedin.

The Lions 34-22 loss in Buenos Aires to the Jaguares saw them finish top of South Africa Conference 2 to qualify as tournament second seed.

The Stormers finished as South Africa 1 Conference winners after beating the Kings 52-24 in Cape Town and enter the quarter-finals as third seed. The Australian Conference winner is the Brumbies who beat the Force in Canberra 24-10 to qualify as fourth seed. Meaning the Waratahs missed out on quarter-final qualification.

The wild card quarter-finalists are three teams from the Australasia Group: the Highlanders, Chiefs, Crusaders; and the Sharks from South Africa 2 who beat to the Sunwolves 40-29 to claim the one wild card spot from the South Africa Group.

Hurricanes too strong for Crusaders

Jason Woodward.

Jason Woodward. Photo: Photosport

Confirmation the Hurricanes had won the conference came later in the evening after the Chiefs failed to re-claim the top spot when they were beaten by the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Jason Woodward, TJ Perenara and Willis Halaholo also crossed the line for the Hurricanes before Beauden Barrett grabbed the fifth try in the final minute.

Barrett converted all five tries as the Hurricanes moved to 53 points on the table.

Look back at match commentary here.

Woodward, a last minute injury replacement, scored the opening try by bursting through the line from five metres out off a short ball from Barrett.

Richie Mo'unga kicked a penalty for the Crusaders before a Ryan Crotty try, after Kieran Read turned the ball over in ruck on the 22.

The final say of the first-half went to the Hurricanes half-back, Perenara, who converted his own charge-down into five points, giving the visitors a 14-10 half-time lead.

Scoring in the second half began with Halaholo's try, thanks to missed tackle from Matt Todd.

With 10 minutes to play, the reserve flanker Gibbins scored the bonus point try, before Barrett's intercept try as the full time hooter sounded.

The Hurricanes celebrate a try.

The Hurricanes celebrate a try. Photo: Photosport