Brumbies

Hurricanes backs outpace Cats for a 29-16 win

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The Wellington Hurricanes ran in four tries to one in a 29-16 win over gritty South African side the Cats in their Super 14 rugby clash here Friday.


The Cats defence disrupted the freeflowing Hurricanes backline in a match peppered with errors. Two touchdowns late in the first half and another right on fulltime ensured a flattering scoreline for the home side.


With the forward packs fairly evenly matched, the pace of Lome Fa’atau on the right wing and the composure of veteran flyhalf David Holwell were among the telling differences for the Hurricanes, who have won three from three so far in this year’s Super 14.


Holwell added two conversions and a penalty to Fa’atau’s two tries, with flanker Chris Masoe and fullback Isaia Toeava each running in a try each.


For the Cats, Grant Esterhuizen scored the only try with Earl Rose converting and adding three penalties.


The Hurricanes talented backline were eager to show their wares and within four minutes gave the crowd what they had come for when speedy winger Fa’atau finished off a classy backline movement in the fourth minute.


A smart cutout pass by Holwell and long pass from centre Ma’a Nonu created space out wide, with a deceptive offload in the tackle by promising young fullback Isaia Toeava giving Fa’atau a clear run to the line.


The Cats dominated stretches of the first spell and claimed a 10-7 lead after 18 minutes when centre Esterhuizen finished off a slashing run down the blindside touchline by Springbok halfback Enrico Januarie.


After some error ridden Hurricanes play and robust defence from the Cats through the first spell, the home side were lucky to go into halftime with a 19-10 lead after two late tries.


Burly openside flanker Chris Masoe dived over a ruck for the first, before Fa’atau sprinted down the touchline from his own half after swooping on a Cats fumble.


The second half was a tighter affair with both teams unable to breach the opposition defence until Toeava touched down in confusing circumstances after the referee had appeared to blow his whistle for a knock-on.


The try, converted by substitute flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth, ensured an extra bonus point for the Hurricanes.


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Source : Sapa-AFP /jm

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