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Beauden Barrett kicks 20 points as Hurricanes beat Rebels 25-15 in Super Rugby

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MELBOURNE, Australia - Flyhalf Beauden Barrett kicked seven goals from nine attempts for 20 points as the Hurricanes beat the Melbourne Rebels 25-15 in Super Rugby on Friday.

Barrett kicked six penalties and the conversion of a sensational try to captain Conrad Smith to ensure the Wellington-based Hurricanes quickly rebounded from last weekend's loss to the New South Wales Waratahs.

Their sixth win in 11 games lifted them to second in the New Zealand conference and fourth on the overall table at the start of the tournament's 13th round.

Barrett landed his first five shots at goal, stretching his success rate to 11 from 11 over his last two games. He then missed two penalties before landing another and converting Smith's 54th-minute try.

The Rebels outscored the Hurricanes two tries to one. Flyhalf Bryce Hegarty touched down in the 27th minute, giving the Rebels a short-lived 10-9 lead after they had trailed 9-0, and centre Tamati Ellison, who played more than 50 matches for the Hurricanes before joining the Rebels, added the second eight minutes from fulltime.

That Melbourne conceded only one try against one of the best backlines in the competition was tribute to the tenacity of their defence. But they paid heavily for their inability to keep control of possession and for the indiscipline that allowed Barrett so many shots at goal.

They were well aware of the accuracy of the All Blacks flyhalf who kicked 10 goals from 10 attempts when the teams met last season, yet they played to his strengths when they conceded the first six penalties of the second half after trailing by only two points, 12-10, at halftime.

The Hurricanes also paid heavily for a moment of indiscipline. Smith was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul in the 67th minute and Melbourne capitalized with Ellison's try, though they weren't able to take more points from a period of sustained pressure.

"We knew it was going to be tough," Smith said. "No team's come away from Melbourne without a tough, grinded out result.

"We wanted to score tries, that's the sort of side we are, but we knew it was going to be more of an arm wrestle and that's the way it turned out. We're just happy to win some because it's sometimes been the fault of the Hurricanes that when it gets tight we go missing."

Barrett kicked the Hurricanes to a 12-10 lead at halftime and to 18-10 10 minutes into the second half. Smith then scored his team's only try as they took advantage of a rare defensive lapse by the Rebels.

Melbourne missed an early tackle in chasing a clearing kick and Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor was able to surge back upfield on the counter attack. Barrett then sent a pin-point kick across field to winger Cory Jane, who was able to turn the ball infield for Smith to score.

Melbourne rallied when the Hurricanes were down to 14 men but could only close the gap with Ellison's try.

"The boys are an 80-minute side, they've showed that every week," Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham said. "It's just penalties that are killing us at the moment."


Hurricanes 25 (Conrad Smith try; Beauden Barrett conversion, 6 penalties), Melbourne Rebels 15 (Bryce Hegarty, Tamati Ellison tries; Jason Woodward conversion, penalty). HT: 12-10.

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