29 vs 14
The Hurricanes got their campaign back on track when they secured a 29-14 victory over the Reds in Wellington on Saturday.
The home side outscored their visitors five tries to one although things didn’t always go their way and they held a slender 12-6 lead at half-time.
The try-scoring bonus-point keeps them in touch with the leaders in the New Zealand conference and they are just a point adrift of the Crusaders, Chiefs and Highlanders, who are in joint first place on 37 points.
With Hurricanes stalwarts Cory Jane, Victor Vito, Chris Eves, Julian and Ardie Savea axed for missing a curfew in South Africa, there was some pressure on the hosts to win this clash and it showed during the early stages when they battled to gain the upper hand.
Julian Savea’s replacement Wes Goosen made a dream debut though. The flyer got the game’s opening try in the 14th minute after Ayumu Goromaru had given the visitors the lead from the kicking tee 10 minutes earlier.
Goosen gathered a cross-field kick from Beauden Barrett inside the Reds’ 22 and did well to outpace the cover defence before dotting down.
In the 20th minute, Chris Feauai-Sautia tore the home side’s defence to shreds with a stunning break. His progress was halted deep inside the Hurricanes’ 22 but although he managed to get a pass out to Anthony Fainga’a, the Wallaby centre knocked on with the try-line begging.
Goromaru then put the Reds in front when he landed another penalty in the 28th minute and the visitors maintained their lead until shortly before half-time when they suffered a setback which would have dire consequences. Hendrik Tui was yellow-carded for a professional foul on defence close to the home side’s try-line.
Barrett put the resulting penalty out on the Reds’ five-metre line and from the ensuing line-out maul Dane Coles barged over for his side’s second try.
Goromaru narrowed the gap to three points when he landed another penalty in the 43rd minute before Jason Woodward pounced on a wayward Jake McIntyre and booted the ball ahead to cross for his side’s third try.
That didn’t deter the visitors, however, and five minutes later Feauai-Sautia showed his class when he ran onto a Nick Frisby pass and waltzed past three defenders to score his side’s solitary try.
That was as good as it got for the visitors though as the Hurricanes stepped up a gear on attack and further tries in the closing quarter from Ngani Laumape and Woodward sealed a deserved victory.
HURRICANES – 29
Tries: Wes Goosen (13),Dane Coles (40),Jason Woodward (43,82),Ngani Laumape (65)
Cons: Beauden Barrett (40,66)
REDS – 14
Try: Chris Feauai-Sautia (50)
Penalties: Ayumu Goromaru (2,27,42)
Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Vince Aso, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (vc), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Reg Goodes
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ben May, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Willis Halaholo
Reds: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ben Matwijow, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Matt Mafi, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Junior Laloifi
Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referees: Angus Mabey, Brett Johnson
TMO: Glenn Newman