Hurricanes secure road win over Cheetahs
May 10, 2013
Hurricanes back Andre Taylor found space through the Cheetahs' defence
© Getty Images
The Hurricanes produced a sizzling second half to beat the Cheetahs 39-34 at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
After a tryless first half which saw the sides go to the break locked at 12-12, the Hurricanes posted four second-half tries to record a bonus-point victory. Fly-half Beauden Barrett scored 24 points courtesy of the side's first try in the 50th minute, two conversions and five penalty goals.
The game yielded 39 points in a hectic final quarter, with the Cheetahs scoring two late tries to bolster their overall position.
Home coach Naka Drotske had warned the Cheetahs would take the Hurricanes on up front but it was the visitors who produced their most physical effort of the season to upset the locals.
Backed by accurate kicking for field position, the Hurricanes eventually allowed their backs to do the damage. Barrett's try in the 51st minute was followed a minute later by another when wing Julian Savea put a kick ahead and took the ball to score.
In the 61st minute, solid build-up work by the forwards provided a chance for half-back TJ Perenara to reach out and place the ball over the line. His try was a relief after the Cheetahs looked like matching the Hurricanes after scoring two tries in quick succession.
After prop Coenie Oosthuizen had barged over in the 56th minute, the Cheetahs broke back downfield and were one pass from scoring when the ball was intercepted by Rey Lee-Lo. He fed fullback Andre Taylor who raced 80 metres before being taken into touch. That set up the preparation for Perenara's try.
Victory was sealed in the 68th minute when Jack Lam knocked the ball on during a Cheetahs attack. Canes' No. 8 Victor Vito was on hand and charged 15 metres to break through the home defence. That took the Hurricanes to a 39-19 lead and while Oosthuizen and Robert Ebersohn crossed in the 72nd and 76th minutes, the Hurricanes were able to hold their lead.
The win moved the Hurricanes to 33 points and eighth place for the moment, but in the New Zealand conference victory put them another victory clear of the Highlanders. The Cheetahs are still in second place on the South African ladder with 39 points.
The Hurricanes shocked the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein (video available only in Australia)
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene