TJ Perenara sets Super Rugby try record in Hurricanes win

rugby03 May 2024 10:03| © AFP
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TJ Perenara © Getty Images

All Blacks scrum-half TJ Perenara claimed a record 63rd Super Rugby try as the Hurricanes sealed a 41-12 home win over the New South Wales Waratahs on Friday.

Perenara touched down with the last of the hosts' seven tries at Sky Stadium, pulling clear of previous record-holder Julian Savea as the competition's all-time top try scorer.

Savea, who now plays for Moana Pasifika, is a former Hurricanes player and Perenara planned to get in touch with his ex-teammate.

"It'll be something cheeky. Not too many words, because I know if I say too much to him, he is on 62 and will go out and score two tries," joked Perenara.

Savea has his chance to score more tries on Saturday when Moana Pasifika play the Highlanders in Nuku'alofa in the first Super Rugby match hosted in Tonga.

The Hurricanes stormed back to winning ways at the top of the Super Rugby table after their eight-match winning streak was snapped with a defeat by the Brumbies last weekend.

A plethora of injuries in the forwards saw fourth-choice hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes start in the middle of the front row, yet the Hurricanes dominated from the first whistle.

"Bouncing back from last week was the most pleasing," said Hurricanes stand-in captain Billy Proctor.

"We came out tonight and started the game really strong, which went a long way to the win."

The 24-year-old was critical of some aspects of their display.

"At times we were a little bit sloppy, with a few knock-ons. It could have been a different scoreline if we had been smarter."

Proctor scorched over for the opening try after some slick hands with four minutes gone for the pick of the Hurricanes' four first-half tries.

Fly-half Brett Cameron also touched down as the Hurricanes battered the Waratahs line before wing Josh Moorby cantered over under the posts.

No 8 Brayden Lose also ran in a try as the hosts found plenty of holes in the defence to lead 26-0 at the break.

Replacement winger Salesi Rayasi came on at the start of the second half to show some great finishing and bagged two tries.

He touched down on either side of the Waratahs' first try by Vuate Karawalevu, who burst through several defenders on his way to the line.

Lock Hugh Sinclair then punched through a hole to score the visitors' second as the Waratahs trimmed the gap to 36-12.

Perenara, who has played 80 tests for New Zealand, claimed the record late by reaching over the line to touch down from the base of a ruck.