Perenara equals Super Rugby record as Hurricanes beat Chiefs

rugby13 April 2024 09:35| © AFP
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TJ Perenara © Getty Images

Scrum-half TJ Perenara moved level as the most prolific try-scorer in Super Rugby history as his competition-leading Hurricanes beat the Chiefs 36-23 on Saturday.

The Hurricanes maintained their perfect seven-from-seven start to the season, out-scoring the visitors five tries to two in Wellington, including a brace to veteran All Black Perenara.

The 32-year-old crossed once in each half to take his Super Rugby career tally to 62 tries.

It's the same figure as his former Hurricanes teammate Julian Savea, who scored a try on Friday for the victorious Moana Pasifika against the Reds.

A bonus point win pushes the Hurricanes five points clear of the second-placed Blues and Brumbies as they continued the high-speed style that has created 38 tries.

Wet conditions didn't slow them, going 10-0 up in the first quarter after Perenara bagged his opening try.

Impressive loose forward Brayden Iose crossed to put his team 17-7 ahead but the Chiefs dominated the middle section of the game, scoring 16 unanswered points.

With his team trailing by six, Perenara's second try sparked a storming Hurricanes finish, including five-pointers to winger Kini Naholo and powerhouse hooker Asafo Aumua.

Hurricanes captain Brad Shields said his team's depth swung the contest their way over the closing stages.

"It's not often you can roll a bench on that changes a game like that," he said.

"Each week now, our impact players are taking our game to another level."

Backs Cortez Ratima and Emoni Narawa crossed for the Chiefs while fly-half Damian McKenzie landed 13 points with the boot.

Last year's beaten finalists suffered their third loss from eight games and skipper Luke Jacobson said they gave the competition leaders too many opportunities.

"The Hurricanes played some really good footy and put a lot of pressure on us," he said.

"There were a few errors in our own half that they ended up scoring from. In the end, that really hurt us."