Planet Rugby

Hurricanes down Rebels in Melbourne

09th May 2014 12:25

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Conrad Smith Hurricanes v Rebels SR 2014

Conrad Smith scores the Hurricanes' only try

The Hurricanes moved into the play-off positions after claiming a 25-15 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.

The men from Wellington didn't always have things going their own way and were outscored by two tries to one by the home side.

The Rebels orchestrated their own downfall, however, as they conceded far too many penalties.

The Hurricanes were dominant for large parts, during the early stages of the opening half, but that dominance wasn't reflected on the scoreboard as they only managed to score three penalties, from Beauden Barrett, during that period.

The Rebels soaked up that pressure and despite trailing 9-0 after 20 minutes, struck back with a penalty from Jason Woodward before Bryce Hegarty scored the game's opening try in the 28th minute.

The five-pointer came against the run of play and Hegarty crossed the whitewash after combining brilliantly with Woodward. A well-timed long pass from Hegarty to the New Zealand-born full-back caught the Hurricanes defence napping and after bursting through a soft tackle Woodward was soon inside the visitors' 22.

He delivered a chip kick which bounced perfectly for Hegarty who got in for the game's opening try which Woodward converted. Despite that effort, the Rebels were committing too many errors, especially at the breakdown, and Barrett regained the lead for the visitors in the 35th minute.

The Hurricanes stepped up a gear after the second half but, just like before the break, the Rebels were their own worst enemies as they continued where they left off before the break with further penalisable indiscretions.

Barrett kept the scoreboard ticking for the visitors with two further three-pointers in the 41st and 50th minutes but the scoreline could have been bigger as he also missed with two attempts in between.

The 'Canes' only try was scored by their captain Conrad Smith but even though he crossed the whitewash, in the 57th minute, his five-pointer was due to a superb team effort.

The ball was recycled inside the Rebels' half before Barrett launched a cross-field kick which Cory Jane gathered in front of the home side's try-line. Jane was stopped in his tracks but fed the on-rushing Smith, who crashed over.

Barrett added the extras and the visitors were cruising. They suffered a setback 10 minutes later when they were reduced to 14 men when Smith was yellow carded for a professional foul.

The Rebels were suddenly rejuvenated and tried hard to get back into the game during the Hurricanes skipper's 10 minute spell off the field. They were handed a lifeline when former Hurricane Tamati Ellison swivelled through three tackles before crashing over but Woodward failed to convert.

And even though they tried to cross the whitewash again in the closing stages, they were kept at bay by a solid defensive effort from the 'Canes, who, in doing so prevented their hosts from securing a bonus point for losing by less than seven points.

The scorers:

For Rebels:
Tries: Hegarty, Ellison
Con: Woodward
Pen: Woodward

For Hurricanes:
Tries: Smith
Con: Barrett
Pens: Barrett 6
Yellow card: Smith (professional foul, 67th minute)

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush/Blade Thomson, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, 19 Blade Thomson/Brad Shields, 20 Jack Lam, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Tim Bateman, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Matt O'Brien (Australia)

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