Hurricanes maintain unbeaten run

    2015-03-20 10:22
    Highlanders v Hurricanes (Getty Images)

    Dunedin - Scrumhalf TJ Perenara scored a 72nd minute try against the run of play to give the Wellington Hurricanes a 20-13 victory over the Highlanders in their Super Rugby clash in Dunedin on Friday.

    The victory ensured the Hurricanes retained their unbeaten season with their fifth win and moved them to the top of the table on 22 points, two ahead of Australia's Brumbies.

    The Hurricanes dominated possession and territory but kept on dropping the ball or being penalised at the ruck and were held up over the line several times by a tenacious Highlanders' defence.

    The Dunedin-based side came alive with around 15 minutes remaining and launched wave after wave of attack only to be thwarted themselves.

    A crunching tackle from inside centre Ma'a Nonu on All Blacks team mate Malakai Fekitoa, his third in about five minutes, created the turnover that led to the Hurricanes sweeping down field for Perenara's try.

    The only scoring in the first spell was a penalty apiece to flyhalves Lima Sopoaga and Beauden Barrett, who both also missed a shot at goal.

    Hurricanes loosehead prop Reggie Goodes barreled over for a second half try, which was converted by Barrett, who also added another penalty but missed another easily kickable shot.

    Sopoaga scored a try with about two minutes remaining after Julian Savea had been yellow carded for a professional foul and then turned possession over following a questionable call from referee Ben O'Keefe that a long pass had gone forward.



    Try: Lima Sopoaga

    Conversion: Sopoaga

    Penalties: Sopoaga (2)


    Tries: Reg Goodes, TJ Perenara

    Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2)

    Penalties: Barrett (2)



    15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edmonds

    Substittutes: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Leniert-Brown, 18 Pingi Tala'apitaga, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Jason Emery


    15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Blade Thomson, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes

    Substitutes:16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Ben May, 18 Chris Eves, 19 Mark Abbott, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 James Marshall

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