Top spot for bonus-point Hurricanes

Date published: April 26 2015

The Hurricanes moved back to the Super Rugby summit on Sunday after they comfortably beat the Reds 35-19 with a try bonus-point in Brisbane.

TJ Perenara crossed twice while Callum Gibbins and Julian Savea also touched down for the 'Canes in what is their fifth-straight victory on the road this season.

Reds centre Samu Kerevi bagged a double inside the first quarter to give the hosts a head start but, in typical fashion, the Hurricanes came roaring back with Ma'a Nonu on fire once again, playing a key role in three of his team's four tries.

On a weekend when Australasia was celebrating Anzac Day, the Reds had no reply to the power of their Kiwi visitors at Suncorp Stadium.

The match may have been settled by half-time when the Hurricanes led 20-12, although both teams had managed two tries by that stage.

It was, however, a surge of power, especially in the Hurricanes back division, that offered an early clue that the New Zealanders were on the road to victory.

Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett also made a difference on the scoreboard with a 10-point contribution via two penalties and as many conversions.

By contrast, Reds wing James O'Connor missed his penalty attempts and managed one out of two conversions.

Kerevi managed touchdowns in 15th and 20th minutes as his side made good on their few incursions into the Hurricanes' 22-metre area. On each occasion, the Hurricanes were unable to keep the barnstorming young centre in check as he burst through several tackling attempts to cross the whitewash.

In the final 10 minutes of the first-half, it was the turn of the Hurricanes' midfield duo of Conrad Smith and Nonu to make telling contributions with midfield breaks that left the Reds' defence in disarray.

Their efforts resulted in quick-fire tries for scrum-half Perenara and flank Gibbins in the 33rd and 37th minutes respectively to give the 'Canes a solid lead at the interval.

When the second-half resumed, the Reds were off to an inspired start which took the Hurricanes by surprise and their defence was caught napping as flank Liam Gill grabbed a try in the 47th minute, just after a Barrett penalty. O'Connor's conversion reduced the deficit to four points at 23-19.

But shortly afterwards, Gill was banished to the sidelines after he was yellow-carded for a cynical penalty. From that point onwards, the 14-man Reds bravely tried to keep the opposition in check, and they suffered a further setback when O'Connor left the field concussed.

A passage of play just after the hour mark finally took the match away from the Reds as wing Savea and Perenara ran in for tries in the 64th and 67th minutes respectively.

Barrett managed one conversion to put the match beyond the reach of the hosts.

The scorers:

For Reds:
Tries: Kerevi 2, Gill
Con: O'Connor 2
Yellow card: Gill

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Perenara 2, Gibbins, J Savea
Con: Barrett 3
Pen: Barrett 3

Reds: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Anthony Fainga'a, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Nick Frisby, 9 Will Genia, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (c).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Faagase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Marco Kotze, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Hurricanes: 15 James Marshall, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Callum Gibbins, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 Chris Eves, 19. Mark Abbott, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 Cory Jane.

Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Referees: Matt O'Brien, Damien Mitchelmore
TMO: Ian Smith