Sportal.co.nz 14.Jul.2012Getty Images
Coles' try four minutes into stoppage time snatched a thrilling 28-25 victory for Mark Hammett's side at Westpac Stadium which kept them in the playoff hunt.
It left the Chiefs waiting on the result of the Stormers clash with the Melbourne Rebels early on Sunday morning (NZ time) to see whether they would finish top of ladder and gain home advantage in the finals.
"I was quite confident that I had my hand under the ball and stopped him short," said disappointed Chiefs halfback Kerr-Barlow.
"But we shouldn't have needed to leave it down to a TMO's decision to decide our fate."
That was a sentiment shared by his coach Dave Rennie.
"In the end, whether I thought it was a try or not probably doesn't matter," he added.
"The point is that we shouldn't have put ourselves in that situation. So we've only got ourselves to blame."
Coles admitted it had been a nervous wait for Fraser's decision as replay after replay was shown on the big screen.
"I was worried [there wasn't the right angle] because I definitely got it down," said the hooker, who ended the game playing No.8 after Jack Lam and his replacement Brad Shields both left the field injured.
"I definitely got it down but you never know with those TMOs. I'm just glad he made the right call. I'm just stoked that we got the win."
Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith had some sympathy for Fraser, given what was resting on the outcome.
"To be honest I felt sorry for him. It was one of those ones where one view looked like a try and the other view looked not a try," said the All Blacks centre.
"It's just hard either way. It was one of those games where anyone could have won, so we're happy it was us."
The Chiefs looked to have sewn the match up when Aaron Cruden scored an intercept try in the 58th minute to give his side a 22-18 lead after a thrilling first half that produced a double for Julian Savea, a try apiece for Kerr-Barlow and Ben Tameifuna and a yellow card for Ben May.
But all season the Hurricanes have refused to lie down and they threw absolutely everything at the New Zealand conference winners in the closing stages and eventually reaped the reward.
It still may not be enough to keep their season going into another week as they need results in the Crusaders, Bulls and Sharks games to go their way.
But it delighted the 23,549 fans that flocked to Westpac Stadium and gave Hammett a 40th birthday to remember.
"Before the game I said to the team I'm not going to be turning down shots at goal. I just want to win. I didn't care about bonus points," said Smith.
"That may turn out to bite us but in the end you've got to win games first. I've seen a lot of teams chase bonus points and it turns pear-shaped.
"We gave our all this game and we've done that all season. I think we've had five of the last six wins and I was sure if we'd done that we would have made it. If it's not the case then it doesn't detract from a pretty special season for our bunch."
Rennie has some work to do with his side during the week off they earn as a top-two finisher.
"We were poor. We were too predictable from an attack point of view around the edges. We found a lot of space early but we needed to mix it up and challenge in other areas," he lamented.
"That was disappointing. We made countless line breaks tonight and a lot of guys were sitting on their heels, not getting in support. That was bloody disappointing too.
"If we'd turned half of those into tries we probably could have scored six or seven tonight. That's not good enough.
"In the end we kept them in the game and they were able to get a five-pointer on the final whistle."