Planet Rugby

Hurricanes ease past Cheetahs

07th March 2009 03:14

Share:

Danwel Damas

Path blocked: Damas opts against meeting Nonu

The Hurricanes kept their challenge for the Super 14 up on Saturday with a comfortable 29-12 bonus point win over the Cheetahs in New Plymouth.

The result of the match was rarely in doubt after Tamati Ellison's try on the stroke of half-time. The home side was more inventive and more assured on the ball except for line-outs (where they lost a staggering 11 of their own throws) varying their approach until they found a way through.

The Cheetahs, many of whom were playing their first tour match, did not look out of their depth but nor did they look particularly good at swimming either. Rare attacks often foundered on technical offences.

Yet they hung in there, keeping the score down with some spirited defence and taking opportunities clinically. It may be another pointless defeat but there is no sense of resignation among the side.

Piri Weepu gave his side an eighteenth-minute lead with a penalty for offside, having missed one shortly beforehand.

It took another seven minutes for the 'Canes to finally break through, with Hosea Gear profiting from the space created by Conrad Smith's inside running line.

Weepu's conversion gave his side a 10-0 lead but the Cheetahs halved the deficit, disrupting a line-out - an area in which David de Villiers and Flip van der Merwe frequently excelled - and scrum-half Sarel Pretorius pounced for the try.

Still the Hurricanes pressed, then a moment of real invention gave them a healthy half-time lead. Ma'a Nonu, whose direction and passing from twelve was a cut above, spun the ball back to the short side with an exquisite pass for Tamati Ellison to accelerate through a huge gap fopr the try.

Weepu added the extras and that was it for the first half.

The Cheetahs started the second period with a bang, with a terrific short side passing movement ending in a burst of pace and a try from bustling flanker Wayne van Heerden, converted by Jacques-Louis Potgieter, bringing the scores back to 17-12.

As the visitors upped their pace in search of an equalising score, they let a turnover slip, and Gear raced home from 80 metres to score his second and restore the Hurricanes' 10-point lead at 22-12.

The game was far more open in the second half, with a lovely ebb and flow to it. With nothing to lose, the Cheetahs offloaded at every opportunity in a search for tries, in turn opening up countless opportunities for the home team.

One such move, a length-of-the-field move involving Nonu, Gear and Zac Guildford stumbled on a wicked bounce at a grubber through.

The Hurricanes sealed the bonus point with 15 minutes to go, with John Schwalger burrowing over after a back-line move had brought his team to within five metres of the line, comprehensively killing the game off as a contest despite a late spell of Cheetahs pressure.

Man of the match: Hosea Gear never stopped threatening with the ball in hand.

The scorers:

For the Hurricanes:

Tries: Gear 2, Ellison, Schwalger

Cons: Weepu 3

Pen: Weepu

For the Cheetahs:

Tries: Pretorius, van Heerden

Con: Potgieter

Hurricanes: 15 Tamati Ellison, 14 Zac Guildford, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Piri Weepu, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Karl Lowe, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Neemia Tialata.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore/Ged Robinson, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Api Naikatini, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Willie Ripia, 21 Jason Kawau, 22 David Smith.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller,14 Bjorn Basson ,13 Piet van Zyl, 12 Hanno Coetzee, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jacques- Louis Potgieter, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Hendro Scholtz (c), 7 Wayne van Heerden, 6 Heinrich Bruss÷w, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Bees Roux, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Wiaan du Preez

Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Jean Botha, 18 Francois Uys, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Danwell Demas

Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)

Touch judges: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Television match official: Michael Fraser (New Zealand)

Assessor: Arrie Schoonwinkel

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs Griquas19:10
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00