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Go the 'Canes


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Author Topic: Go the 'Canes  (Read 1399 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: May 17, 2009, 05:10:33 am »


Hurricanes book semi spot

NZPA | 11:46PM - Saturday, 16 May 2009

CRUCIAL RUN: Ma'a Nonu makes a break during the Hurricanes' win over the Reds.  Photosport.

CRUCIAL RUN: Ma'a Nonu makes a break during
the Hurricanes' win over the Reds. Photosport.


The Hurricanes have subdued a brave Queensland Reds 37-28 in Brisbane and will now prepare to cheer on South Africa's Sharks in the hope of securing a home Super 14 rugby semifinal.

The Hurricanes ensured their playoff berth with a five tries to four victory to get within one point of competition leaders the Chiefs, as they faced a nervous wait until the early hours of Sunday morning.

They needed the Sharks to beat the Bulls to book a Wellington playoff next weekend, otherwise a trip to Hamilton to face the Chiefs loomed.

The Hurricanes' win in a festival-style match not only signed off the 13th-placed Reds' forgettable season but also eliminated the Waratahs from the race, meaning no Australian sides in the semifinals.

Still Hurricanes captain Rodney So'oialo was hardly turning cartwheels.

"We made a lot of mistakes and got too many balls turned over and against a team like the Reds, they love to run the ball and it made it hard for us," So'oialo told Fox Sports.

A double to All Blacks midfielder Ma'a Nonu, which took his season's try tally to eight, knocked the early stuffing out of the Reds who never threw in the towel.

It was expected to be a stroll for the Hurricanes, coming off an 8-16 hiccup against the Chiefs but playing a Reds side with 11 injured players who'd conceded 84 points in their previous two matches.

It seemed that way early on as the visitors showed their intent, forcing turnovers and hurling the ball around as they raced in three tries in the opening quarter to lead 17-0.

Nonu got his two tries early, his first in just the sixth minute when he strolled onto a Cory Jane short ball with barely a hand laid on him.

Flanker Victor Vito was a huge presence on attack, clutching the ball in one hand and setting up the Hurricanes' next two tries.

His 40m rampage from inside his own half set up halfback Piri Weepu, then he delivered the final pass for Nonu's second after Jane pierced the Reds' defence from an inside ball.

Jane then scored from a simple overlap and the Hurricanes had the bonus point in the 33rd minute.

But the Reds who welcomed back key men James Horwill and Berrick Barnes from injury took the Hurricanes on at their own high octane game, scoring quick tries to Quade Cooper and halfback Ben Lucas to narrow the gap to 24-14 at halftime.

The Hurricanes needed to strike early in the second half and it took them just two minutes before lock Jeremy Thrush strolled over for their fifth try.

The Reds wouldn't go away and showed plenty of spirit as they hammered at the Hurricanes' line, and finally the defence cracked when fullback Mark McLinden dived over for a converted try to restore the gap to 10.

It needed back-to-back Willie Ripia penalties to finally subdue the hosts as coach Colin Cooper emptied his bench in the final quarter.

A 70m intercept to Reds winger Brando Va'aulu with seven minutes left saw some anxious glances on the visitors' bench but the Hurricanes held on against a wave of late attacks.

Hurricanes: 37 (Ma'a Nonu 2, Piri Weepu, Cory Jane, Jeremy Thrush tries; Willie Ripia 2 pen, 3 con).

Reds: 28 (Quade Cooper, Ben Lucas, Mark McLinden, Brando Va'aulu tries; Berrick Barnes 4 con).

Halftime: 24-14.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-14/2417598/Hurricanes-book-semi-spot
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