Westpac Stadium, Wellington
The RaboDirect Rebels were unable to stop a rampant Hurricanes side from scoring nine tries in Wellington on Saturday afternoon.
Initially the Rebels looked promising in attack, and took an early lead with a superb solo try from Cooper Vuna. Taking a short ball from Kurtley Beale, the winger stepped, fended and drove his way over the line with three Hurricanes players desperately attempting to haul him down.
As the first half wore on, however, the Hurricanes began to display their trademark attacking verve. With clever running lines from their forward pack, deft offloads and quick ball from every breakdown, the Hurricanes repeatedly opened up the Rebels’ defence.
It seemed only a matter of time before the home side picked up a try of their own, and soon enough a stunning pass from TJ Perenara behind his back allowed Andre Taylor to dive over in the corner and level the scores.
The home side’s second score followed soon after, as a grubber kick behind the Melbourne defence bounced up perfectly into the arms of winger Alapata Leiua.
The Rebels continued their attacking efforts, but were unable to penetrate the brutal Hurricanes defence. Slower to the breakdown than their eager opponents, the Rebels’ inability to protect the ball in contact eventually resulted in two further Hurricanes tries, both scored by Julian Savea.
As the Hurricanes’ confidence swelled they began running the ball from all corners of the field, and Vuna was sharp enough to intercept an ambitious pass to score his second, bringing the score back to 31-17 just after the half hour mark.
But the Hurricanes maintained their dominance of possession and territory, and before long flanker Jack Lam burst over the Rebels’ try line from short range following more excellent build-up work by his colleagues in the pack.
Trailing by 21 points at half-time the Rebels were by no means out of the contest, but after the break they still struggled to find the same offensive cohesion they had shown in their two previous games.
The Hurricanes defence was letting nothing through, while more momentum-building runs from their strong forward pack laid the platform for three further tries to Leiua, Savea and Taylor. Barrett’s faultless kicking display took the score out to 59-17 from the resulting conversions.
With a quarter still to play the Rebels bravely battled on as injuries began to mount, but once again the Hurricanes defence was impermeable. Substitute Chris Eaton eventually picked up the home side’s ninth score, finding a big gap beside a rolling maul to skip over untouched.
Vuna almost picked up a hat-trick with a chip and chase in the dying minutes, but the ball bounced just out of his reach as he attempted to ground it.
The Rebels’ brave effort continued after the buzzer, however, and their unwavering endeavour eventually resulted in a consolation try as Adam Freier burrowed over for his side’s third.
This feature requires the Standard edition. You are running the Trial edition
or your site domain is not associated with your license key.
Please visit www.packflash.com to purchase an upgrade or add your domain.
24 MAY 2013
23 MAY 2013
22 MAY 2013