The ‘Canes led 24-14 at the halfway stage and the men from Pretoria gave a sterling effort in the second half to chase the Kiwi-side all the way. The result means that the Hurricanes will now play the Crusaders in one of next weekend’s two semi-finals.
Earlier on Saturday morning the Jaguares booked their first semi-final appearance when they battled their way to a hard-fought 21-16 victory over Chiefs in Buenos Aires.
The Hurricanes scored four tries, three conversions and three penalties while their Pretoria opponents crossed the tryline three times, gained a penalty try and kicked three conversions.
Former Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks showed his class and experience out wide by scoring two well-executed tries. Hurricanes utility back Salesi Rayasi had an equally impressive game and he also dotted down twice. However, he spent 10 minutes in the sin bin for a deliberate knock down when Hendricks was about to score another certain try, leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty try.
After completing an exhausting travel routine from Pretoria to Wellington, the Vodacom Bulls came very close to a win in this exciting match, however, they will admit that the many unforced errors they committed eventually led to their downfall at the Cake Tin.
Hurricanes 35 (24): Tries: TJ Perenara, Ben Lam, Salesi Rayasi (2). Conversions: Beauden Barrett (3). Penalties: Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett (2).
Vodacom Bulls 28 (14): Tries: Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks (2), penalty try. Conversions: Handre Pollard (3).