Hurricanes beat the Reds

It's a calf injury for star Hurricane Ardie Savea.

The loose forward was helped from the field late in the team's 34-15 win over the Reds in Brisbane, having taken the ball into contact and not got up.

Savea had produced a typically robust and explosive performance, from No.8, in what was a rather atypical match.

Referee Angus Gardner awarded three tries to the Hurricanes - Beauden Barrett in the 24th minute, then Mark Abbott (53rd) and finally TJ Perenara (56th) - only to think better of it after the host broadcaster went through its repertoire of replays.

In the last two cases it didn't appear as if Gardner had asked for assistance, but he got it. The right outcomes were reached; it's just that the process seemed a little flawed.

Not that the Reds were complaining. Fourteen-nil down when Beauden Barrett went in, they were soon back to 14-12 after the Hurricanes suffered the double blow of not only having a try rubbed out, but losing Ngani Laumape to the sinbin as well.

Laumape was ruled to have hit Reds first five-eighth Jake McIntyre without the ball, creating the turnover that Barrett had initially profited from.

In the end there was no real harm done, as second-half tries to Vince Aso, Jordie Barrett and Beauden Barrett meant the Hurricanes emerged with a bonus-point in and everyone intact, apart from Ardie Savea.

"We think he might have a bit of a calf strain," assistant coach John Plumtree said.

"He's walking around here. He's a bit uncomfortable but I don't think it's anything major, without having too much detail from the medical staff.

"We were a pretty worried about him, obviously, but it doesn't look like it's anything major."

The Hurricanes won't be the only folk happy to hear that. Savea's form has been sensational at times this season and his athleticism and desire are sure to be something the All Blacks want during the British and Irish Lions series.

It was again an asset to the Hurricanes, as they shot out to an early lead thanks to tries from Julian Savea and Perenara.

Ardie Savea then set Aso up after halftime, before the Barrett brothers settled the issue late on. Jordie, who'd done all the goal kicking, hit the post with a last-minute conversion which would have made the score 36-15.

Otherwise he'd kicked well, on a night when Plumtree conceded he thought Beauden was going to be teeing them up.

"Beaudy's got a bit of a sore rib after the Highlanders game [on March 18]. That was a bit of a surprise to me, but that was something they decided to didn't concern us," said Plumtree of how the kicking duties were divided up.

The rib didn't appear to slow Beauden Barrett's general play or option taking, which were very good overall. Like the team in general, when the first five-eighth was good, he was very good.

That's what pleased Plumtree and company.

There were challenges and disappointments; some of their own making, others not. But the plan had been to wear the Reds down in the last 15 or 20 minutes and they did, playing some quality football along the way.

"We're delighted to get five points. We had to leave it pretty late to get that bonus point, which was a little bit stressful for the coaches, but we hung in there," Plumtree said.

The Hurricanes now host the Waratahs at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

Hurricanes 34 (Julian Savea, TJ Perenara, Vince Aso, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett tries; Jordie Barrett 3 con, pen) Reds 15 (Chris Kuridrani, Scott Higginbotham tries; Jake McIntyre con, pen). HT: 14-12.


Photo By: BRADLEY KANARIS/GETTY IMAGES (Ardie Savea injured his calf in the win).