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Hurricanes leave it late against depleted Force

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Article Published: Friday 27 May 2011|

The Hurricanes scored two late tries to beat the Force 34-28 in Palmerston North after the Force led for most of the match.

Hurricanes and All Black centre Ma'a Nonu scored two tries but the crucial winning bonus point try was scored by Corey Jane five minutes from time.

The Force played the match with a depleted side and had not been expected to test the Hurricanes in the match.

The Hurricanes late revival in the match was sparked by pivot Aaron Cruden who had a hand in both of the two late tries as well as one of Ma'a Nonu's tries.

The Perth-based Force were left with three wins from 13 games at the end of a match between teams which had already dropped out of playoff contention.

Former Wallabies flyhalf Cameron Shepherd scored a try among 18 points in his first match back for the Force after injury.

Center Ma'a Nonu scored two tries for the Hurricanes, his first in a season which has also been troubled by injuries and suspension, rebuilding his All Blacks midfield pairing with Conrad Smith.

The Hurricanes' poor form this season has severely damaged the All Blacks selection chances of Nonu, Smith, Jane and scrumhalf Piri Weepu in this World Cup season.

Nonu's form and Jane's in Friday's win helped lift their selection chances but still fell short of guaranteeing their retention by New Zealand for the World Cup in September and October.

The Force led for most of Friday's match, led by the outstanding performance of Shepherd and of scrumhalf Mark Swanepoel and flyhalf Janes Stannard.

Stannard set up tries for center Rory Sidey, backrower Ben McCalman and Shepherd while Swanepoel superbly guided the Force attack.

The Force's defense was also outstanding but the Hurricanes were finally able to breach it in the late stages of the second half when former All Blacks flyhalf Aaron Cruden attacked the line, then found gaps for supporting players.

Cruden scored 14 points from four conversions and two penalties.

The Force built an 18-10 lead by halftime with tries by Sidey and Shepherd.

Though the Hurricanes cut into the lead with Nonu's second try nine minutes into the second half, a try to McCalman gave the visitors a 25-17 lead midway through the second half.

The Force were still ahead 25-20 with 15 minutes remaining but lock Broadhurst and fullback Jane turned the match with late tries.

Final Score Hurricanes34 Western Force28


Tries - M. Nonu 2, J. Broadhurst, C Jane
Pen - A Cruden 2
Con - A Cruden 4
Drop -
Cards -

Western Force
Tries - R Sidey, C Shepherd,B.McCalman.
Pen - C Shepherd 3
Con - C Shepherd 2
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Richard Kelly (Australia)
Television match official: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)


Hurricanes :1. John Schwalger ,2. Dane Coles ,3. Neemia Tialata ,4. Jeremy Thrush ,5. James Broadhurst ,6. Faifili Levave ,7. Jack Lam ,8. Victor Vito (c) ,9. Chris Eaton ,10. Aaron Cruden ,11. Hosea Gear ,12. Maa Nonu ,13. Conrad Smith ,14. Andre Taylor,15. Cory Jane

Reserves :16. Andrew Hore ,17. Jacob Ellison,18. Bryn Evans ,19. Mark Reddish ,20. Piri Weepu,21. Jayden Hayward ,22. Julian Savea

Force :1. Kieran Longbottom,2. Nathan Charles,3. Tim Fairbrother,4. Sam Wykes,5. Nathan Sharpe (Captain),6. Matt Hodgson,7. David Pocock,8. Ben McCalman,9. Mark Swanepoel,10. James Stannard,11. David Smith,12. Rory Sidey,13. Patrick Dellit,14. Nick Cummins,15. Cameron Shepherd

Reserves:16. Ben Whittaker,17. Matt Dunning,18. Tom Hockings,19. Richard Brown,20. Chris Cottee,21. Mitch Inman,22. Alfie Mafi

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