So this is it. We are down to four teams. The first Semi-final is today and it’s between the Hurricanes and the Waratahs. Last week these two teams played each other in Sydney but home advantage did not work for the Waratahs.
The Hurricanes have never had home advantage in a home semi-final and as they beat the Waratahs at home last week the smart money is on the Hurricanes in this match.
Almost Live match summary
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Conditions – Good.
The teams are still in the changeroom.
The Hurricanes kick off
Hurricanes applying big pressure.
Hurricanes have been awarded a penalty and Piri Weepu is taking it. He gets it.
Hurricanes 3 Waratahs 0
Another penalty to the Canes. Holwell takes this one. He gets it.
Hurricanes 6 Waratahs 0
The Waratahs Vickerman is struggling after a bad line-out landing
Rogers dodges two tackles and passes to Hewat on the wing who scores the first try.
Hewat misses the conversion.
Hurricanes 6 Waratahs 5
Rogers kicks for touch and snuffs it.
The Waratahs have been awarded a penalty quite a way out but in front of the posts for a line-out infringement. Hewat knocks it over.
Hurricanes 6 Waratahs 8
As the game goes on it’s the Waratahs who are finding their game. Perhaps they are a little more settled after the Saolor incident.
Whitaker takes his eye off the ball on attack. Scrum awarded. Lote Tuquiri is having a big game.
Canes attack and its Tuquiri who gets back and defends.
There has been a good passage of play from the Hurricanes on attack.
Lome Fa’atau makes a break and runs past Turinui to score the Canes first try.
Hurricanes 13 Waratahs 8
A great Canes kick to the corner sees a 5m lineout. Waratahs get the ball and clear.
The Canes get a drive going. They kick behind the Tahs line and the ball is dotted down as it touches the line. No try.
Waratahs line attacks but Rogers loses the ball in the tackle.
Shannon Paku flys down the wing and its Turinui who gets back to defend.
The Hooter goes for half time.
The Hurricanes kick the ball out and head for the changerooms.
It’s half time.
Score -Hurricanes 13 Waratahs 8
Hewat kicks off. The ball goes to the Canes and then they kick straight back to Rogers. He passes and Turinui knocks on.
The Hurricanes forwards are doing all the work now as they retain possesion.
Its all the Hurricanes now. Eaton puts in a late tackle on Hewat who is clearing the ball.
Penalty to the Hurricanes. Weepu hits the post.
Norton Knight puts in a great positional kick and gets a big line-out in the Canes 25. Tito takes another one.
Great play by the Canes as they Force the Waratahs to scramble back on defence almost the length of the field. Tialata knocks on but Kaplan says we go back for a penalty. Canes go for the line-out.
Canes win the line-out and drive for the line. Somehow the Tahs get the ball and Tuquiri clears.
Hurricanes get blown for crossing. Rogers takes the free kick.
Statistically the Hurricanes are way ahead in this game.
We have a break in play as there is an injury to Paul Tito. Play resumes.
Penalty to Hurricanes as David Lyons flattens Holwell who try to tackle him. Canes kick for touch.
Luke Andrews comes on for Tito and Gopperth comes on for Holwell. These are two big changes.
Nonu is having a big game too as he keeps striking at the Waratahs line.
Whitaker comes off as Brett Sheehan comes on.
The Waratahs scramble defence and Hewat clears. The ball goes to Paku who knocks the ball on in centrefield giving huge territory to the Waratahs.
The Waratahs use the position and Tuquiri breaks on the wing. The ball goes back to mid-field and as the ball goes to ground a penalty to the Waratahs is awarded.
There is a bit of a fight before the penalty is taken.
Hewat gets it.
Hurricanes 13 Waratahs 11
Waratahs have sensed something now and they have come to life. They get a 5m olineout which sees them awarded a penalty for coming into the maul. Hewat goes for the posts. He gets it and the Waratahs are in front with 12 minutes to go.
Hurricanes 13 Waratahs 14
A penalty from the scrum gives Gopperth a shot at goal. He gets it. Canes back in front.
Hurricanes 16 Waratahs 14
Tuquiri goes for the drop, but misses.
The Hurricanes are applying huge pressure again. Ellison kicks for touch. 5m line-out. Blue ball.
Ball not straight. 5m scrum.
The Hurricanes give away a free kick for not joining the scrum. Rogers clears to half way.
Hurricanes try to slow the ball down with a slow maul.
They keep it going for a minute and a half and Kaplan blows the whistle for a penalty to the Hurricanes.
The hooter goes.
Weepu kicks it inot touch and the whistle goes.
Hurricanes are in the final.
Final score –
Hurricanes 16 Waratahs 14
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1 John Schwalger,2 Andrew Hore,3 Neemia Tialata,4 Paul Tito,5 Jason Eaton ,6 Jerry Collins,7 Chris Masoe,8 Rodney So’oialo (Captain),9 Piri Weepu,10 David Holwell,11 Shannon Paku,12 Tana Umaga,13 Ma’a Nonu,14 Lome Fa’atau,15 Isaia Toeava,
Reserves, 16 Luke Mahoney,17 Joe McDonnell,18 Luke Andrews/Ross Kennedy,19 Thomas Waldrom,20 Brendan Haami,21 Jimmy Gopperth,22 Tamati Ellison
1. Benn Robinson,2. Adam Freier ,3. Al Baxter ,4. Alex Kanaar ,5. Daniel Vickerman ,6. Rocky Elsom ,7. Phil Waugh [v-c] ,8. Stephen Hoiles ,9. Chris Whitaker [c] ,10. Daniel Halangahu ,11. Lote Tuqiri ,12. Sam Norton-Knight ,13. Morgan Turinui ,14. Peter Hewat ,15. Mat Rogers
Reserves to be confirmed.Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Dunning, Will Caldwell, David Lyons, Wycliff Palu, Brett Sheehan, Shaun Berne, Ben Jacobs, Chris Siale.