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Hurricanes late kick blows Reds winning streak

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Article Published: Saturday 30 April 2011|

Aaron Cruden kicked a last minute penalty to snatch a 28-26 bonus point victory for the Hurricanes over the Reds in Wellington.

The Reds were leading the Super Rugby standings and were on a seven match unbeaten streak going into the match.

The Reds opened the scoring in the second minute with a try by Scott Higginbotham and came close to adding another a few minutes later but were denied by the TMO.

The Hurricanes looked set to be on the receiving end of a hammering after the ferocious start by the Reds but instead they dug in and took the game to the Reds.

The Hurricanes scored 22 unanswered points  including a bonus point for scoring four tries to lead 22-5 at half time.

The Reds opened the scoring again in the second half when Luke Morahan scored the first of his two tries.

Morahan's second try and three penalties from Quade Cooper put the Reds into the lead for the first time with 9 minutes remaining but then in the final minute Cruden stepped up and stole the match for the Hurricanes.

The result moves the Hurricanes from 12th place to 8th place in the Super Rugby standings.

After running up a commanding 22-5 lead by halftime, the Hurricanes saw their dominance whittled away through the second spell and they eventually slipped behind 25-26 when Quade Cooper landed a 70th minute penalty.

Then with time fast running out they fought their way back into Reds territory, won a penalty 35 metres from the posts, and Cruden made amends for an off night with the boot by landing the shot that gave them the win.

The victory was all the more memorable for captain Andrew Hore, who was celebrating his 100th Super game, as it was achieved without their star backs Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Cory Jane who were all injured.

The Reds opened with a roar, with Will Chambers and Mike Harris opening up the novice Hurricanes backs with their first touch of the ball to set up Scott Higginbotham for a try with just over a minute on the clock.

But the Reds were soon to learn they would not romp away with the game and instead quickly became flustered as the Hurricanes regrouped.

The home side mounted a constant wave of attacks and the Reds defence, which served them so well in holding out the NSW Waratahs last week, could not combat the 'Canes ability to offload in the tackle.

Faifili Levave, Cruden, Andre Taylor and Neemia Tialata all crashed over for tries and with Cruden landing one conversion the Hurricanes piled on 22 unanswered points.

Tough talking from coach Ewan McKenzie at half-time resulted in the Reds clawing their back into the game.

Two tries to Luke Morahan, one a superb 50-metre solo effort, coupled with a conversion and two penalties by Quade Cooper against one penalty by Cruden saw the Reds lead by one point in the countdown to the final whistle.

But when Cruden, who had missed four shots at goal, had a chance to make amends on fulltime be made no mistake.

The Hurricanes next week host the new competition leaders Blues while the Reds head to Melbourne to play the Rebels.

Final Score Hurricanes 28 Reds 26


Tries - F. Levave, A Cruden, A Taylor, N Tialata
Pen - A Cruden 2
Con - A Cruden
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - S Higginbotham, L Morahan 2
Pen - Q Cooper 3
Con - Q Cooper
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), James McPhail (New Zealand)
Television match official: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)


Hurricanes: 1. John Schwalger ,2. Andrew Hore (c) ,3. Neemia Tialata ,4. Jason Eaton ,5. James Broadhurst ,6. Faifili Levave ,7. Jack Lam ,8. Victor Vito ,9. Chris Eaton ,10. Aaron Cruden ,11. Hosea Gear ,12. Charlie Ngatai ,13. Jayden Hayward ,14. Alapati Leiua,15. Andre Taylor

Reserves :16. Dane Coles ,17. Anthony Perenise,18. Jeremy Thrush ,19. Mark Reddish ,20. Tyson Keats,21. Julian Savea ,22. Beauden Barrett

Reds 1. Greg Holmes 2. James Hanson 3. Guy Shepherdson 4. Van Humphries 5. James Horwill (c) 6. Adam Wallace-Harrison 7. Beau Robinson 8. Scott Higginbotham 9. Will Genia (vc) 10. Quade Cooper 11. Dom Shipperley 12. Mike Harris 13. Will Chambers 14. Luke Morahan 15. Ben Lucas

16. Saia Faingaa 17. Albert Anae 18. Rob Simmons 19. Radike Samo 20. Liam Gill 21. Anthony Faingaa 22. Kimami Sitauti

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