Planet Rugby

Leiua seals it for Hurricanes

28th March 2014 08:24

Share:

Conrad Smith R of the Hurricanes celebrates with team-mates

Delight: Conrad Smith

The Hurricanes left Christchurch with all five points following a see-saw encounter with the Crusaders, winning 29-26.

Kieran Read's 100th game for the Crusaders came to a disappointingly early end, as he watched his side bring themselves back into the contest before Alapati Leiua struck with a stunning try to secure the bonus point.

The Crusaders did show an impressive resolve in the way they came back from an early 17-3 deficit, but the aura surrounding the most successful side in Super Rugby history has gone.

A touch of fortune helped the visitors for their first try, with Julian Savea bumping off Read and his offload going back of a Crusaders' hand before Faifili Levave scooped up and powered his way over after ten minutes.

That try, added to Barrett's penalty, gave the Hurricanes a perfect 10-0 start in as many minutes.

Momentum was all with Mark Hammett's team during the opening quarter, with the Hurricanes running tirelessly as Barrett and TJ Perenara dictated play.

Tom Taylor hit back with a penalty after James Broadhurst was pinged for holding on but the Crusaders were at risk of being cast adrift on the scoreboard when Perenara went over for the 'Canes second try after spotting a gap at the ruck.

The Crusaders needed an inspiration at 17-3 down and it came from Ryan Crotty. The captain, with Read now off the field, surged into the opposition 22 after Andy Ellis took a quick tap, before feeding McNicholl for the first of his two tries with a well-weighted grubber kick.

McNicholl then completed an unlikely turnaround on the scoreboard when he went over for his second score, hard work from the pack upfront making the space out wide for Slade's long pass to find the speedster.

Taylor's penalty before the break gave the Crusaders an 18-17 lead - fitting as two of the last three meetings between these two sides have been settled by one point.

Savea's night wasn't all about power, the All Blacks wing producing a perfectly executed chip and chase for his try and the Hurricanes third to restore their lead at the beginning of the second half.

A solid 20-minute period of pressure from the Crusaders followed, but the home side just couldn't get the breaks when it mattered.

Desperate turnovers from Conrad Smith and his men kept the home side out but it couldn't last forever, Slade darting over in the corner and Taylor eventually adding his third penalty from a ruck infringement against the Hurricanes - much to the delight of the Christchurch faithful.

Barrett was unable to counter Taylor's penalty from long-range but the Hurricanes had threatened with ball in hand all game long, so when Barrett missed a far easier penalty from nearer the posts there was still no need for alarm.

Leiua's superb finish stemmed from getting round on the outside of McNicholl and fending off tacklers going through Israel Dagg to put the Hurricanes up 26-29. There won't be many better individual tries this season.

And so it stayed, Taylor missing a penalty attempt to bring the Crusaders back within three.

Instead they slumped to their third loss of the season, while the Hurricanes made it two wins from three and moved off the bottom of the New Zealand Conference on the back of an truly entertaining performance.

The scorers:

For Crusaders:
Tries: McNicholl 2, Slade
Con: Taylor
Pens: Taylor 3

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Levave, Perenara, Savea, Leiua
Cons: Barrett 3
Pen: Barrett

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieran Fonotia, 23 Nemani Nadolo.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Chris Eves, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Marty Banks.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Watt (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26