Hurricanes run away with five-try win
April 18, 2014
TJ Perenara goes over for a try for the Hurricanes
© Getty Images
The Hurricanes breathed further momentum into their revived Super Rugby campaign by overcoming a mid-match hiccup on Friday to beat the Blues 39-20 in Wellington. They also grabbed a bonus point, scoring five tries to two as they made it three victories in a row to climb into the top six.
They did it by overcoming the double blow just out from half-time of having hooker Dane Coles yellow-carded for a professional foul and then conceding a penalty try as the opposition went for a pushover. Defeat for the Blues kept them bottom of the New Zealand conference.
It also extended their losing streak away from home to 12 matches since they defeated the Hurricanes at the same venue early last season.The momentum appeared to be theirs when they went into the interval up 17-13. But, with Coles in the bin, the Hurricanes held onto possession, ate up the clock and then sent winger Julian Savea over to go back in front.
Back to 15 players, they went further ahead through half-back TJ Perenara after a big breakout in which impressive inside centre Alapati Leiua was prominent. They effectively sealed victory in the 64th minute when Savea's kick ahead was pounced on by skipper Conrad Smith. Replacement hooker Motu Matu'u added their fifth try on the hooter.
In the opening half, the Hurricanes jumped out to a 13-3 advantage in the 14th minute after Leiua brushed past a couple of defenders to touch down. The Blues hit back through winger George Moala from a lineout drive after they turned down a penalty shot at goal.
The Hurricanes had earlier had what would have been a brilliant try ruled out, when Leuia was called back for a forward pass. They were again denied late in the opening half after lock James Broadhurst's great round-the-corner offload set up Coles, who was tackled just into touch when producing a spectacular winger's dive.
Minutes later, Coles was sinbinned for holding down replacement five-eighth Benji Marshall, who had come on for the injured Chris Noakes. Marshall had almost scored but was pulled down by Coles in the shadow of the posts. The Blues again opted against a shot at goal, a decision that brought the dividends of the penalty try.