This article was originally published in Staff and reproduced with permission
No pressure, Highlanders. The Southern will have to work to advance to the Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals on Sunday due to a surprisingly wrong move by Hurricane Perth on Saturday night.
Force had to win their regular season final to give themselves a shot in eighth place, and midfielder Byron Ralston’s late attempt to upset Kansas and did so through some great defense under pressure in the last minute.
This puts the Western Australians one point ahead of the eighth-ranked Highlanders, 4-10, as the Souths need to collect something from their final match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Sunday to earn a quarter-final against the Red-Hot Blues next Saturday. Night in Auckland.
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There was not much risk for Cannes when the match started, the men from the capital were locked in fifth place and went to the quarter-finals at Brumbis in Canberra. It has been shown somewhat, with a low-par performance that intersects class moments with substantially low qualifications.
The Hurricanes saw their second defeat in the last six and they finished 8-6 on 39 points, one point ahead of the nearest runners.
The Kiwis had a chance to finish at a high point with a 22-20 lead in the final quarter, but after Ralston’s lead in the 74th minute they could not find the right fit when it was important to create a winning reaction.
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Aidan Morgan and Josh Moorby continue their strong Rocky campaign with excellent performances on a busy Canes backline. Murabi, in particular, has taken his season number seven to seven with his pair of attempts, showing an exciting prospect with a firepower attack in the back. Morgan’s goalkeeping is his biggest job.
Wes Gusen (95m on the carry) and Celsi Raisi (70) also ran hard and strong for the spectators, while young No. 8 Braden Ios made a big change before making his way to Ardie Savior in the final quarter.
Cannes took a 17-13 lead in the shed at halftime, undoubtedly a bit frustrated by the late effort given to force prop Santiago Medrano which allowed the home side to return to the competition.
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Earlier, three attempts in the one-hour Golden Quarter took the visitors 0-6 to 17-6 within five minutes of the break. Fullback Murabi crossed for a fine first 40 punctuation for two of them, where Ios was third when he was drastically pushed away from the left touchline by Raisi’s strength and creativity.
A Raisy yellow card and Andrew Reddy tried to force the force back to the start of the second half, putting Raisi in front of the Kiwis (22-20) compared to just a three-quarter mark, and then things were rather unveiled for the spectators. Run home
For veteran Perth-based Kiwis Jeremy Thrush and Richard Cahui, they now have to wait for an event in Melbourne to see if this is really the end of their careers. Tell you what, Highlanders is on the court.
Ball 27 (Santiago Medrano tries 39 minutes, Andrew Reddy tries 45 minutes, Byron Ralston tries 74 minutes; Ian Prior 2pen, 2con; Michael McDonald Con) Hurricane 22 (Josh Muraby 2 tries 21 minutes, 27 minutes, Braden Ios tries 35 minutes, Celsi Royce tries 58 minutes; Aidan Morgan Con)
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