The 2019 Investec Super Rugby season ended in dramatic circumstances for the Hurricanes after they were narrowly beaten by the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday night.
The 30-26 loss was desperately disappointing for the Hurricanes who threw everything they had at the two-time defending champions but ultimately came up just short.
In possession and attacking with less than two minutes remaining in the match, the officials missed a Sam Whitelock grab at the ball which was judged to be knocked on by TJ Perenara.
The Crusaders then controlled the resulting scrum and kicked the ball out to end the Hurricanes hopes of progressing to the final.
After a mixed first half when the Hurricanes kicking game was not as effecive as they would have hoped for, the visitors produced some stunning play which resulted in some fantastic tries.
Behind 13-0 near the end of the first half, Ngani Laumape came up with a crucial try just before the break to narrow the margin to 13-7.
Ben Lam then scored just after the break as the Hurricanes looked to have seized the momentum.
Unfortunately they also conceded a couple of tries they could have stopped. Nevertheless, a second try to Laumape and one to Perenara had them right in the mix.
A late penalty to Richie Mo'unga extended the Crusaders lead to four points and left the Hurricanes chasing a try for victory.
As they have done all season, the Hurricanes never gave up and pressed right to the end, only for them to come up just short.
Crusaders 30 (Sevu Reece 2, Richie Mo'unga tries; Richie Mo'unga 3 pen, 3 con) Hurricanes 26 (Ngani Laumape 2, Ben Lam, TJ Perenara tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con). HT: 13-7