Hurricanes beat undisciplined Rebels
May 9, 2014
Conrad Smith scored the only try of the night for the Hurricanes
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The Melbourne Rebels were left empty-handed as the Hurricanes snatched a 25-10 win in their Super Rugby clash at AAMI Park.
Hurricanes five-eighth Beauden Barrett finished with a personal tally of 20 points through six penalty kicks and a conversion and set up the Wellington side's only try of the match in a starring performance. The match was tighter than the scoreline indicated but that will bring little joy to the Rebels, who have had a run of tight losses.
The Hurricanes have the best attacking record in the competition however Melbourne's much-improved defence held them tryless until the 57th minute.
Barrett showed off his array of skills when he spotted winger Cory Jane unmarked and put a perfectly weighted kick across-field. Jane was able to get a pass away to skipper Conrad Smith and with Barrett adding the extras the Hurricanes were out to a match-winning lead.
Beauden Barrett's boot proved the difference in Melbourne (video available in Australia only)
The Rebels continued to pressure the visitors and took advantage of a 14-man opposition after Smith was yellow-carded for a cynical foul as Melbourne attacked the tryline. Melbourne skipper Scott Higginbotham was held up over the line but centre Tamati Ellison managed to plant the ball down soon after. Fullback Jason Woodward was off-target with his conversion, leaving his team 10 points short.
Melbourne trailed 12-10 at half-time, scoring the only try of the half with the Hurricanes' points coming from Barrett. In-form Woodward made a break and chipped ahead and the ball bounced up into the hands of fly-half Bryce Hegarty to touch down in the 29th minute.
Woodward converted which gave the Rebels a 10-9 lead but the Hurricanes regained the front-running five minutes before the break. The home side did themselves no favours, opening the second half with six straight penalties, with referee Matt O'Brien warning yellow-cards were in the offing. Luckily Barrett was off target with two of his three penalty attempts.
The loss leaves the Rebels with three wins for the season while the Hurricanes move to second in the New Zealand conference and in the hunt for the finals.
Higginbotham was left ruing his side's poor discipline. "Penalties are killing us at the moment," he said. "We're confident with our defence and I think our attack was a lot better than last week and when we got in their tryline zone we really pushed forward. It's unlucky but we'll keep working on it."