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Hurricanes hold off gutsy Waratahs

Super Rugby

The Hurricanes weathered a second-half comeback from the Waratahs for a 38-28 win Friday that extended Australia's Super Rugby misery against New Zealand teams.

The Hurricanes scored six tries to four, including a brace for Ngani Laumape, racing to a 33-7 half-time lead that provided enough buffer to see off the resurgent Waratahs.

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Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

The defending champions' win means Australian Super Rugby teams' record against New Zealand opposition this season is 12-0.

The losing sequence extends to 17 when matches from last season are included, with the Waratahs' round 14 win over the Chiefs in May 2016 the last Australian success.

But Tahs captain Michael Hooper insisted there were plenty of positives to take from a game in which they outscored the Hurricanes 21-5 after the break.

"Our fight can't be questioned, we throw it in the last 40 (minutes) but the first 20 is an issue for us and it's really frustrating," he said.

The Hurricanes stunned the Waratahs with a try after 90 seconds as Ngani Laumape finished off a sweeping move inspired by Beauden Barrett's run around three defenders.

Laumape returned the favour five minutes later when he plucked a stray Waratahs pass to set up Barrett to get one of his own.

Barrett's brother Jordie then added a third to leave the Waratahs down 21-0 after just 12 minutes.

Ned Hanigan put NSW on the board with the visitors' first attack of the match, making the most of a one-man advantage after Beauden Barrett was sin-binned for an offside infringement.

But it was a temporary reprieve as Wes Goosen went through unmarked on the wing, then Mark Abbott swooped on a bungled Waratahs line-out to make it 33-7 at half-time.

The Waratahs looked like a different team immediately after the restart, rocking the Hurricanes with two quick tries to Bryce Hegarty and Jake Gordon.

The hosts again responded through Beauden Barrett, who sliced through the Waratahs to set up Laumape's second try.

NSW refused to give in, with Andrew Kellaway's 71st-minute try providing some hope of an unlikely comeback.

They maintained pressure, prompting Beauden Barrett to commit another offside foul that earned him a red card, but ran out of time as the Hurricanes' defence rallied.

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