Hurricanes

Hurricanes beat Lions and boost Semi final hopes

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Center Ma’a Nonu scored two tries as the Hurricanes took a bonus point from a 38-12 win over the Lions in a Super 14 rugby match Saturday.


The Hurricanes strengthened their claim to a semifinal place with a five tries to two win which lifted them temporarily from fifth to second place on the championship table.


Their four-try bonus point was hard-won but was likely to be enough to keep them among the tournament’s top four at the end of the 12th of 14 regular-season rounds.


The Hurricanes set out to play expansive rugby in cold and wet conditions and largely succeeded when they scored three tries to lead 26-7 at halftime.


They had to wait a further 23 minutes in the second half before Nonu’s second try awarded them a bonus point which may prove vital in the race for playoff places.


“We had game patterns to do so we didn’t panic. It’s an 80-minute game and so we were really focused on getting that extra bonus point,” Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo said.


The Hurricanes dominated most aspects of the match in the first half, spreading the ball wide and running hard and straight to strain the defense of the Johannesburg-based Lions.


Young flyhalf Willie Ripia sett up first-half tries for Nonu and winger Zac Guildford and kicked four goals from six attempts.


Ripia put through the chip kick which led to Guildford’s try after 11 minutes – the Hurricanes’ first – and recovered his own kick to set up Nonu for their third try four minutes before halftime.


In the interim, hooker Andrew Hore stole the ball out of the arms of a Lions defender on the goalline and scored a try.


The Hurricanes bungled several try-scoring chances before Nonu touched down for a second time in the 63rd minute to cement their victory after a brief Lions’ resurgence.


The Lions had fought back with tries to Willie Wiponer and Jannie Boshoff but the Hurricanes pulled away with late tries to Nonu and flanker Scott Waldrom.


Scores:


Hurricanes 38
Tries – Ma’a Nonu 2, Zac Guildford, Andrew Hore, Scott Waldrom
Conversions Willie Ripia 2
Penalties 3



Lions 12
Tries – Willie Wepener, Jannie Boshoff tries;
Conversion – Earl Rose conversion.


HT, 26-7.


Sapa-AP  – Super14.com

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