26 Feb 2012

Canes lose in controversial circumstances in Republic

7:24 am on 26 February 2012

The Hurricanes have been beaten 39-26 by South Africa's Stormers in their season-opening Super Rugby match in Cape Town.

The hosts scored three tries to two but questions will be asked about the use of local referees after a large number of decisions by South African official Marius Jonker went against the Hurricanes.

The Canes were down to 13 men late in the second half, had another man sent off in the second half, a try was controversially ruled out and the visitors also conceded a penalty try in the closing stages of the game at Newlands.

The Stormers lead 23-16 at half-time.

Despite the loss, rookie first five eighth Beauden Barrett was named man of the match in his first start and only his fifth Super game.

Barrett scored a try, kicked two conversions and four penalties in his 21-point individual haul.