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Hurricanes second half surge beats Chiefs

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Article Published: Saturday 12 March 2011|

The Hurricanes won their first match of the 2011 Super rugby season when they beat the Chiefs 29-26 in Wellington.

The Chiefs led for much of the match but the Hurricanes lifted their game in the final quarter and snatched the lead.

Tim Nanai-Williams scored a late unconverted try to seal a losing bonus point for the Chiefs.

In a frantic closing 20 minutes, a dubious try to replacement Hurricanes halfback Tyson Keats and two penalties to substitute flyhalf Dan Kirkpatrick sealed a dramatic comeback after the Chiefs led 18-10 at one stage.

The bottom two sides in the New Zealand conference were both desperate for a win to improve their standing on the ladder and this was evident by the pace of the game as they attacked from the off.

The Chiefs won the try count three to two but were punished for repeated infringments -- which Hurricanes kickers Aaron Cruden and Kirkpatrick feasted on.

The Hurricanes were particularly fired up in their first game for three weeks after losing their opener to the Highlanders and then missing the next fortnight because of the Christchurch earthquake and a bye.

"It's been pretty frustrating watching it. It's like being invited back to a party after being kicked out," said Hurricanes captain Andrew Hore.

Chiefs fly-half Stephen Donald, fighting for survival as the All Blacks back-up to Dan Carter, relished the opportunity to mark Aaron Cruden and expose the defensive frailties of his leading rival.

He was rewarded with the opening try of the match from a double Cruden error when the Hurricanes pivot had a clearing kick charged down and Donald ran the ball back at his opposite number and crashed through his tackle to score.

Donald landed the conversion and two penalties to have the Chiefs ahead 13-10 at halftime with the Hurricanes' points coming from a try by prop John Schwalger who charged over from close range while Cruden landed the conversion and a penalty.

The Chiefs made a perfect start to the second half when Scott Waldrom won intercept ball, Tana Umaga made the break which took play up to the line and Waldrom was on hand again to score.

Cruden responded with two penalties for the Hurricanes and the match went into the final quarter with the Chiefs marginally ahead at 18-16.

The Hurricanes hit the front when Andre Taylor, earning a start as replacement for the injured Hosea Gear and proving to be the star of the home side, took play up to the Chiefs line where Keats dived towards the line.

The television match official ruled there was no reason why a try could not be awarded although replays appeared to indicate Keats had grounded the ball short of the line.

Replacement flyhalf Dan Kirkpatrick landed the conversion from wide out and added a penalty to put the Hurricanes ahead by eight meaning the Chiefs would have to score at least once for a bonus point and twice to win.

When Mike Delaney closed the gap to five points with a penalty, Kirkpatrick immediately replied with his second to restore the eight-point margin.

Fullback Tim Nanai-Williams then scored for the Chiefs with two minutes remaining but the visitors were unable to get up again before the final whistle.

Final Score Hurricanes 29 Chiefs 26


Tries - J Schwalger, T Keats
Pen - A Cruden 3, D Kirkpatrick 2 
Con - A Cruden, D. Kirkpatrick
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - S Donald, S Waldrom,T Nanai-Williams
Pen - S Donald 2 , M Delany
Con - S Donald.
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Joey Salmans
TMO : Garratt Williamson


Hurricanes :1. John Schwalger ,2. Andrew Hore (c) ,3. Neemia Tialata ,4. James Broadhurst ,,5. Jason Eaton ,6. Jack Lam ,7. Serge Lilo ,8. Victor Vito ,9. Chris Eaton ,10. Aaron Cruden ,11. Andre Taylor ,12. Jayden Hayward ,13. Conrad Smith ,14. Julian Savea ,15. Cory Jane

Reserves :16. Dane Coles ,17. Anthony Perenise,18. Mark Reddish ,19. Faifili Levave ,20. Tyson Keats,21. Daniel Kirkpatrick ,22. Charlie Ngatai

Chiefs :1. Ben May,2. Aled de Malmanche,3. Nathan White,4. Craig Clarke,5. Isaac Ross,6. Scott Waldrom,7. Tanerau Latimer,8. Liam Messam (Captain),9. Brendon Leonard,10. Stephen Donald,11. Sitiveni Sivivatu,12. Tana Umaga,13. Dwayne Sweeney,14. Lelia Masaga,15. Tim Nanai-Williams

Reserves:16. Hika Elliot,17. Sona Taumalolo,18. Romana Graham,19. Fritz Lee,20. Taniela Moa,21. Mike Delany,22. Jackson Willison

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