Vodacom Super 14

Ruan stars for Sharks

2010-03-27 11:10
Ruan Pienaar (Gallo)
Wellington - Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar slotted a 48-metre penalty as the fulltime hooter sounded to give the Sharks a 29-26 away victory over the Hurricanes in their Super 14 match on Saturday.

Hurricanes flanker Victor Vito had scored a late try, which was converted by Piri Weepu, to tie the scores just three minutes earlier before Hurricanes replacement flyhalf Aaron Cruden was penalised for not releasing the ball when he was tackled.

Pienaar then slotted his fifth penalty, giving him 19 points, to condemn the Hurricanes to a fourth successive loss, all to South African sides, in this year's Super 14.

"Pretty happy when a boy stands up like that to take the kick. I saw him leaning to the left (watching the flight of the ball) and nearly had a heart attack," Sharks captain John Smit said in a televised interview.

"It was an exciting game. I suppose they are the ones that take years off you as a player and coach."

The Sharks dominated the first half but were held out by a strong Hurricanes defence after fullback Patrick Lambie had crossed for an early try, that was converted by Pienaar.

The Hurricanes counter-attacked at every opportunity but were guilty of impatience that wasted their opportunities and had to settle for two Wilie Ripia penalties to drag them to 7-6.

Pienaar, however, added two further penalties, the second after the halftime hooter had sounded, to give the visitors a 13-6 lead at the break.

All Blacks scrumhalf Weepu, who came on as a replacement immediately after the break, slotted two penalties to bring the Hurricanes back to within one before the Sharks exploded for 10 unanswered points in 90 seconds.

Pienaar slotted his third penalty then JP Pietersen finished off a brilliant flowing movement straight from the restart.

Pienaar converted to give the Sharks a 23-12 lead, though the Hurricanes struck straight back with Ma'a Nonu scoring a try from a quick penalty by Weepu, who then converted to make it 23-19.

The Sharks, however, extended the lead when Pienaar landed his fourth penalty, but the Hurricanes again responded with Vito crossing for a try and Weepu landing the difficult conversion attempt to make it 26-26.

Read more on:    ruan pienaar  |  john smit

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