Hurricanes in sight of play offs




The Hurricanes outscored the Cheetahs by six tries to one Saturday in a 38-10 win which put the New Zealand team fifth in the Super 14 table and within sight of a semifinal place.

The Cheetahs matched the Hurricanes up front for the first quarter, and led through a second-minute penalty from flyhalf Conrad Barnard.

The Hurricanes were without injured Jerry Collins on the flank but their forwards gradually took control and released their backs on a series of counterattacks.

It was poor tackling round the fringes which led to the Hurricanes’ first try. Jason Eaton picked up a loose ball from a ruck and ran through some weak tackling from 10 meters out.

Skipper Rodney So’oialo then scooped up an intercept and ran half the length of the field for the second, and center Ma’a Nonu finished off a good counterattack down the left to run over unchallenged under the posts.

The Cheetahs had responded with a try through left wing Jongi Nokwe, whose pace from a standing start from 22 meters outstripped the defenses to bring the score to 14-10, but Nonu’s try made it 21-10 at halftime.

The Cheetahs were unable to lift their game after the interval to match the Hurricanes’ pace, and only occasional charges from flanker Juan Smith and a good break by center Meyer Bosman threatened the Hurricanes’ victory.

Left wing Zac Guildford scored the bonus-point try for the Hurricanes in the 13th minute of the second half, and then fullback Corey Jane ran onto a neat chip ahead from Piri Weepu for the fifth in the final 10 minutes of the match.

Flanker Scott Waldrom – in for Collins – rounded off the scoring with his try in the final minute.


Hurricanes 38 (Jason Eaton, Rodney So’oialo, Ma’a Nonu, Zac Guildford, Corey Jane, Scott Waldrom tries; Piri Weepu 3, William Ripia conversions) def. Cheetahs 10 (Jongi Nokwe try; Conrad Barnard conversion; Barnard penalty). HT: 21-10.

Sapa-AP  –

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