Updated: Saturday, 10 May 2014 00:33 | By Agence France-Presse

Barrett's goalkicking proves difference for Hurricanes

Beauden Barrett kicked the Wellington Hurricanes to a hard-fought 25-15 Super Rugby win over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.

Barrett's goalkicking proves difference for Hurricanes

Beauden Barrett addresses a press conference at the Castleknock Golf Club near Dublin, Ireland, on November 22, 2013 - by Peter Muhly

The tenacious Rebels scored two tries to one, but fly-half Barrett's six penalties and a conversion for 20 points proved the difference to lift the Hurricanes into the top six early in the weekend round.

The Rebels paid for their ill-discipline, conceding 12 penalties, three of them when in possession, to give the Hurricanes a 12-10 half-time lead.

The Hurricanes looked to be heading for a comfortable victory when skipper and All Blacks centre Conrad Smith scored off a Barrett kick for a 25-10 lead in the 57th minute.

But Smith was yellow-carded by referee Matt O'Brien 10 minutes later for repeated infringements, leaving his team down a man in the final 10 minutes.

Former Hurricanes centre Tamati Ellison scored against his old team with eight minutes left as the Rebels took advantage of their numerical supremacy to storm the Kiwis' try-line.

But Wellington held on for their second win in two visits to Melbourne, leaving them second in the New Zealand conference ahead of five closing games against New Zealand rivals.

The Rebels scored their other try by fly-half Bryce Hegarty, who started and finished the attacking raid when he followed up Jason Woodward's kick to regather and score in the 28th minute.

"We knew it was going to be tough here and we knew it was going to be an arm wrestle and that's how it turned out," Conrad Smith said.

"We're just happy to win some because sometimes it has been the fault of the Hurricanes, when it gets tight we go missing.

"We've worked hard to get back to where we are and we managed one win from our two Aussie games and we've got a hard road against our New Zealand buddies for the rest of the competition."

Rebels skipper Scott Higginbotham said conceding penalties was "killing" his side.

"We're confident with our defence and our attack was a lot better than last week.

"It was good tonight when we got into their try-line zone. We'll keep working on it."

The Rebels are away to the Queensland Reds next week.

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