The Hurricanes surged in the second half to beat South Africa’s Sharks 38-22 the Sky (formely Westpac) stadium in Wellington
The Hurricanes outscored the Sharks by five tries to three in the match with Ben Lam crossing twice for the Hurricanes early in the second half.
The Hurricanes had earned the bonus point but a late try by the Sharks removed their extras.
The Sharks and the Hurricanes have now both played three matches, won two and lost one.
The Hurricanes returned home following a tour of South Africa (Stormers) and Argentina (Jaguares) while the Sharks arrived in Wellington full of confidence after wins over the Bulls (Durban) and Highlanders (Dunedin).
After the Hurricanes opened the scoring with an early penalty the Sharks appeared to have scored the first try of the match when props John-Hubert Meyer and Juan Schoeman combined in a move that make them look more like backs than forwards only to be called back for a forward pass in the build up.
The Sharks kept up the pressure and four minutes later they scored the first try after an intercept by captain Lukhayo Am and was finished by Madosh Tambwe.
The Hurricanes hit back when Jordie Barrett joined the back line and put Wes Goosen over in the corner for the hosts first try.
The Sharks responded with a long range try by replacement fly half Sanele Nohamba.
The Hurricanes responded as Barrett put in a cross-kick which set up Ngani Laumape for a 50-metre run to the line.
Barrett and Nohamba also scored first half penalties so the teams went in for half time tied at 17-all.
The Hurricanes were almost a different side in the second half after Ben Lam crashed through the Sharks defenses to score three minutes after the break
Six minutes later Lam beat the Sharks in the air and raced to the line again for his second try. With Barrett’s conversion the Hurricanes led 31-17.
Replacement hooker Dane Coles playing in his first match of the year scored from a line out which extended the Hurricanes lead to 38-17 and in bonus point territory.
However replacement prop Mzamo Majola scored the Sharks only points of the second half which also cost the Hurricanes the bonus point.
Hurricanes captain TJ Perenara said that while he was pleased with his team’s tries he was not happy with their defensive lapses.
“We did score some really good tries – the likes of Lam, Nans (Laumape) they did their thing — but the three tries we let in we will be disappointed with,” said Perenara.
Next week in round four the Hurricanes have the bye but the Sharks travel to Victoria where they take on the Rebels at the Mars stadium in Ballarat.
Final score Hurricanes 38 (17) Sharks 22 (17)
Tries -W.Goosen, N.Laumape, B.Lam 2, D.Coles
Pen – J.Barrett
Con – J.Barrett 5
Tries -M.Tambwe, T.Paul, M. Majola
Con – B.Chamberlain, S.Nohamba
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Rebecca Mahoney
TMO : Aaron Paterson
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Billy Proctor
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements:16 Craig Burden, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Mzamo Majola 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Jeremy Ward