Vodacom Super 14

Hurricanes blast away Blues

2009-05-01 11:58
Conrad Smith (File)

Wellington - Tamati Ellison scored two tries inside the first 30 minutes as the Hurricanes raced out to a 35-8 lead before they held off the Blues and cemented their place at the top of the Super 14 on Friday.

Ma'a Nonu also scored two tries, one in each half, while Scott Waldrom and Conrad Smith scored first-half tries to help the Hurricanes to a 45-27 victory at Westpac Stadium.

Flyhalf Willie Ripia slotted home six conversions and a penalty for the Hurricanes, who moved to 39 points with the bonus-point win, six ahead of the second-placed Bulls who play Australia's Force on Saturday.

"We're actually quite disappointed," Hurricanes captain Rodney So'oialo said in a televised interview. "We're happy with the five points but it was pretty unstructured.

"The Blues like the freestyle rugby and have a lot of talent in their backs and we felt we needed a bit of structure in there.

"Both teams scored a lot of tries but it gets pretty tiring out there and I think the boys will have a good rest tonight."

All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Anthony Tuitavake scored first-half tries for the Blues, while Rene Ranger scored early in the second for the visitors to bring the score to 35-20 with 38 minutes remaining.

Replacement forward Dean Budd sealed a bonus point for the Blues in the final minute, while flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth got two conversions and a penalty.

"I think we're quite disappointed with how many points we gave away in the first half...it was a bit too much to catch up in the second half," said Blues captain Keven Mealamu.

The Blues suffered a major blow when Ellison was scoring his first try, with All Blacks lock Ali Williams limping off with what appeared to be a recurrence of an Achilles tendon injury.

Williams had turned to chase Ellison's kick ahead then slumped to the ground mid-stride and clutched his right ankle. He attempted a few stretches of his foot but gave up and dejectedly walked off.

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