Hhurricanes steal another win




Loftus resembled a graveyard on Friday evening when the Hurricanes surprisingly burgled a 26-23 victory against the Bulls. After trailing for the better part of the evening, the visitors stole the game with three minutes left on the scoreboard when Hurricanes hooker Andrew Hore crashed over.

In all fairness to the Bulls it was an encounter they should have easily won but there are no easy games in the Super 14. The Bulls had managed to pull off a gutsy and powerful performance but it was just not enough to beat the Hurricanes and Australian referee George Ayob.

In the minds of the 38 855 spectators who had screamed for their team at Loftus, the only doubt on whether their team would win or lose was the Ayob.

After playing all the rugby and scoring two tries in the process, the Bulls would have felt hard done by Ayob who had an indifferent day on the lush Loftus turf. Ayob frequently gifted the Hurricanes questionable penalties which gave the visitors the rite of passage to claim the Bulls scalp at Loftus.

Adding further insult to injury the Bulls had scored a try from Akona Ndungane but the television match official Linston Manuels ruled that Ndungane had knocked the ball on in the in-goal area.

The disallowed try would have been Ndungane’s second of the evening after scoring in the opening minute of the game after the Bulls had stolen a Hurricanes lineout and ran it down the line.

The Bulls second try in the 52 minute came from a Bryan Habana interception which saw the Springbok winger sprint 70 metres to score in the corner.

But the Hurricanes, typical of any New Zealand side, fought back and never hung their heads and they were duly rewarded when substitute winger Shannon Paku scored in the 62 minute to haul his side within four points of the Bulls at 23-19.

Hore’s try and Ayob’s shoddy whistle-blowing in the dying moments of the game, put a dampener on what should have been a wonderful evening for the Bulls.

In the first half the Bulls showed dominance probably beyond the Hurricanes comprehension and looked set to record a runaway victory. The tone for proceedings had been set as early as the first minute when Ndungane crashed over and at their destructive best the Bulls foraged forward with scant respect for the highly rated Hurricanes pack.

The Bulls outright dominance in the first half was highlighted by their 13-0 lead in the 20th minute after Derick Hougaard had stabbed two penalties over.

However against a quality side like the Hurricanes the Bulls should have known better than to divert from their traditional one dimensional forward orientated game.

With a somewhat healthy lead the Bulls opted to play an expansive game which cradled them into the clutches of the Hurricanes who thrive on open play. Facing a resolute and hardened defence, the Hurricanes altered their gameplan and graciously took advantage of three penalties within range.

Hurricanes flyhalf David Holwell sweetly struck three consecutive penalties which brought the Hurricanes within four points, 13-9, at the halftime interval.

Source : Sapa

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