Perenara inspires Hurricanes to victory over Chiefs

Perenara's five-pointer gave the Hurricanes a 25-17 lead and some much-needed belief for the final quarter of an intense encounter after they had spent most of the first half chasing the game.

Julian Savea scored an intercept try in the first minute, while Ben Lam grabbed his 15th of the season in the second half to set up a semi-final against either the Canterbury Crusaders or Sharks next week.

NZ teams gear up for Super Rugby finals

It's one win each so far for both teams, but more importantly the Chiefs beat the Hurricanes last weekend without a number of their stars and playing much of the second half with only 14 men.

In fact the red card and subsequent suspension of back Jonathan Fa'auli left a bit of bitterness between the two sides.

Back at home in Wellington for the quarter-final, the Hurricanes are determined to redeem themselves as well as send their five departing players, and coach Chris Boyd, off in style.

James Marshall returns to the Hurricanes

Marshall played the last of his 44 matches for the Hurricanes when the club won its first Super Rugby title in 2016 before he headed to the United Kingdom to link up with London Irish.

The 29-year-old joins loose forward Reed Prinsep and prop Alex Fidow in signing on for the 2019 season.

"I'm very excited to be heading back to the Hurricanes, a team that I've always loved and supported since I was a kid," Marshall said.

"I feel that it's the best environment for me to play to my potential being surrounded by the quality players and management that they have."

Savea and Barrett recommit to NZ Rugby

Twenty-four-year-old Savea and 21-year-old Barrett have recommitted through to the end of the 2019 season.

Twenty-five test Savea made his Super Rugby debut for the Hurricanes in 2013 and All Blacks Test debut in 2016, while Barrett made his Super and Test debut in 2017. He has played five Tests.

"Wellington is my home town and it's great I can stay here and contribute as much as I can for the Hurricanes," said Savea.

"Also, we all know how important next year is for the All Blacks with the Rugby World Cup in Japan and I really want to be a part of that campaign."

Four-try haul for Laumape in Hurricanes win

Powerhouse inside centre Laumape proved too hot to handle in a 42-24 win in Wellington on Saturday which leaves his team close to clinching a home quarter-final berth in the play-offs.

The result ends a three-match losing streak for the Hurricanes, who scored six tries to three, all converted by fullback Jordie Barrett.

Laumape became the seventh player in the competition's history to bag four tries in a match, using his trademark straight running close to the line to simply bowl defenders out of the way.

Hurricanes coach slams loss to Brumbies

The early frontrunners for the title have lost three games in a row in a concerning form slump just two games away from the finals.

The Brumbies' Super Rugby finals hopes remain alive after an upset 24-12 victory over the Hurricanes - their first win against a New Zealand team since 2016.

They still need to win their last two matches and rely on other results to avoid missing the post-season for the first time in six years, but their triumph over the second-placed Wellington side on Saturday night gives them hope.

Savea and Evans escape punishment

Evans was issued a warning for gripping a player around the head and neck while Savea was warned for lifting a player beyond the horizontal line while cleaning out a ruck.

Evans was deemed to have contravened law 9.20, which states a player must not make contact above the line of the shoulders, when allegedly gripping around the head/neck region of his opposite number in the 62nd minute.

Savea was deemed to have contravened law 9.11, which states a player must not do anything that is reckless or dangerous to others.

Naholo try caps off decisive Highlanders win

The Highlanders leapfrogged the Chiefs into third in the New Zealand conference and up to 40 points on the table, five behind the second-placed Hurricanes and 10 adrift of the competition-leading Crusaders.

It was the second successive loss for the Hurricanes, who were humiliated by the Crusaders in atrocious conditions last week in Christchurch, after they had won their previous 10 games.

Depleted Crusaders too good for Hurricanes

The Crusaders, without at least seven front-line players through injury or suspension, controlled the ball through their forwards, punished their opponent's poor discipline and produced a bruising defence to drive them back behind the advantage line.

Lock Scott Barrett, prop Michael Alaalatoa and loose forward Heiden Bedwell-Curtis crossed for the home side, while Reed Prinsep scored a late consolation try for the visitors.

The Crusaders held a narrow 7-6 lead at halftime, but dominated the second spell to set up their ninth successive win of the season.

Ben Lam bags hat-trick in Hurricanes' scrappy win over Lions

The 26-year-old winger brought his season's tally to 12, adding two second-half tries to his seventh-minute opener.

Lam's first try gave the Hurricanes an up-tempo start to the game in blustery, swirling conditions at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams were guilty of coughing up possession too easily, but it was the Hurricanes who made the most of their chances.

The late loss of Jordie Barrett to an ankle injury didn't affect their running game, with Nehe Milner-Skudder slotting in at fullback in his second game after returning from shoulder surgery.