As part of our extended buildup to the SupeRugby Final on Saturday night, here’s four of the best performances by the Hurricanes over the years.
1997 (Round 11) Auckland Blues 45 vs Wellington Hurricanes 42
This has been called one of the greatest games of Super Rugby ever played when the Wellington Hurricanes went toe-to-toe with the great Blues machine of the 1990’s in a try scoring fiesta. Tries to Finau Maka and the late Jarrod Cunningham kept the Canes in the game against the usual bundle of tries by Blues superstars Zinzan Brooke, Michael Jones, Joeli Vidiri and Craig Dowd. Both teams made the playoffs that year with the Blues winning it all for the second year in a row. Daytime Rugby ruled back then.
2000 (Round 7) Wellington Hurricanes 28 vs Canterbury Crusaders 22
In what was to become a regular occurrence in following years, the Canes upset the Crusaders during the regular season in an epic battle in their new home at Westpac Stadium. Moving Andrew Mehrtens to Fullback on defence proved costly for the Crusaders as Christian Cullen and Jonah Lomu ran amok scoring two tries apiece. While the Crusaders had the last laugh (as they usually do) by winning the competition that year in a massive upset in Canberra, this night was all about the catch-cry ‘Expect-the-Unexpected’.
2001 (Round 7) Wellington Hurricanes 34 vs ACT Brumbies 19
2001 was the year of the Brumby where under Super-coach Eddie Jones, the Brumbies played a highly structured style of game based around ‘pods’ of forwards who knew where the ball was going 4 rucks before it actually did. The was all undone in Round Seven by the unorthodox Canes who were at their destructive best as Jerry Collins ran amok among the Brumbies with his huge hitting style, causing numerous turnovers which the Canes star-studded backline duly cashed in on. Hurricanes stalwart David Holwell scored the final try in what was probably his best year as a Hurricane.
2004 (Round 12) Wellington Hurricanes 37 vs Canterbury Crusaders 20
After making the playoffs in 2003, the Hurricanes only won four games in 2004, however the last of them was in the penultimate round in a game that had nothing riding on it as the Crusaders had safely qualified for the post-season. This didn’t worry the Hurricanes who (not for the first time) tore into the Crusaders All Black laden forward pack and led by an Andrew Hore double, embarrassed the Crusaders pack all evening. The game was memorable for a Jerry Collins ‘special’ on Chris Jack that earned him a visit to the judiciary the following week but remains a part of Hurricanes folklore to this day.