The First semi-final was held in Wellington after the Hurricanes beat the Waratahs in Sydney last week. In front of a hugely Hurricanes favoured crowd the Hurricanes ground out a win.
Weepu got the first points of the semi-finals with strangely enough a Penalty kick. Not normally known for his kicking in the Super 14 he later had another shot at goal but hit the post.
The first try was scored by the Waratahs back line which saw Rogers at fullback dodging two tackles and then passing to Hewat on the wing. He missed the conversion
On the half hour mark Lome Fa’atau gave the Hurricanes the lead as he ran past Morgan Turinui to score his first try of the night. That try also gave him the lead again as the top try scorer of the Super 14, racking up his tenth try of the Super 14 after the top try position had been held by three players namely Fa’atau, Staniforth of the Force and the Brumbies Mortlock.
The first half was played in patches of 10 minutes. The first ten minutes belonged to the Hurricanes and then the Waratahs took over when they scored their try. The Hurricanes bounced back in the next ten and in the final ten it was shared by both teams.
The half time score was Hurricanes 13 Waratahs 8.
In the second half it was all the Hurricanes. They dominated in all the stats. The Waratahs defence however stood strong and kept the half time scores level for 20 minutes. As they were defending all the time, they had no time for attack.
A midfield knock forward by Shannon Paku gave territory to the Waratahs. They then used the ball well getting a penalty in front of the posts which Hewat got over to earn the first points of the half.
The Waratahs then came to life and got a 5m lineout. They won the ball and looked like they were going drive over the line. Instead a penalty was awarded and Hewat got the second points of the half but crucially gave the Waratahs the lead at 13-14.
Nine minutes from time Gopperth slotted a huge kick at posts from halfway. It was a huge pressure and kick and proved to be crucial.
Both teams continued to bash away at each other but Gopperth’s kick was the last points of the match. In the last minutes of the match the Hurricanes forwards slowed the ball down with a slow maul and stopped the Waratahs from getting the ball which they needed badly.
The Hurricanes discipline in the last minutes was excellent.They killed the ball but this ate up minutes and ad they given away a penalty it would surely have lost them the match.
As the hooter went the Hurricanes still had the ball and Weepu kicked the ball out to put the Hurricanes in the final for the first time.
An interesting fact that has come to light is that Kaplan has now refereed the Waratahs 14 times and they have lost 13 of those.
Final score Hurricanes 16 Waratahs 14
Tries -Fa’atau, Conversion -Holwell , Penalties -Weepu,Holwell,Gopperth
Tries -Hewat,Conversion -Penalties -Hewat 3