Hurricanes outrun Cheetahs in Bloem
Fri, 10 May 2013 19:21
Four tries to three in bonus-point win
The Hurricanes again beat the Cheetahs in a high-scoring and entertaining affair - winning 39-34 in Bloemfontein on Friday.
The seven-try thriller - in which the Canes outscored the Cheetahs by four tries to three - follow on similar encounters the previous two seasons.
Their last two encounters produced 21 tries - 10 in the Cheetahs' 47-38 win in Wellington last year and 11 in the Hurricanes' 50-47 triumph in Bloemfontein the year before.
As was the case in previous encounters, the Hurricanes managed to drag the Cheetahs into a free-flowing game with little structure - a style of play the Hurricanes are just so much more comfortable with and also far better at playing.
The result was a crucial bonus-point win that keeps their play-off hopes alive.
For the Cheetahs, the losing bonus point kept them in the top six on the standings and well positioned to challenge for a play-off spot.
It was a particularly satisfying result for the men from Wellington as they fared badly against South African opposition in the past two weekends - losing at home to the Stormers and away to the Bulls.
Flyhalf Beauden Barrett, whose head was bandaged to protect an injury sustained against the Bulls last week, contributed 24 points from a try, two conversions and five penalties and his shrewd field kicking often had the home team retreating.
Giant left wing Julian Savea, scrumhalf TJ Perenara and captain and No.8 Victor Vito were the other try scorers for the Hurricanes, one of two New Zealand sides never to have won the Southern Hemisphere championship.
The Cheetahs sorely missed injured flank Pieter Labuschagne, looked rusty after a bye last weekend and too often tried to run the ball from very deep positions.
A lot of the running by the South Africans was also too lateral and when they did adopt a more direct approach it paid handsome dividends with loosehead prop Coenie Oosthuizen bulldozing over for two tries.
"We adopted a more physical approach than last weekend and it paid off," Vito said in his post-match reaction.
"South African players are big boys and you have to match them to have any chance of success," Vito added.
Cheetahs hooker and skipper Adriaan Strauss said: "We were not good in the second half and got caught out by kicks behind us. There was also too much slow ball from the breakdowns."
Rival flyhalves Barrett and Burton Francis kicked four penalties each to leave the sides level at 12-all going into the break, but 11 minutes into the second half the try feast began.
Hurricanes scored four and Cheetahs one within 19 second-half minutes as the game took a decisive turn in favour of the visitors, who led 39-19 before the second Oosthuizen try and another from centre Robert Ebersohn closed the gap.
Elgar Watts, who replaced off-form Francis early in the second half, kicked two conversions and the late penalty that ensured Cheetahs got something from the game.
It was the first home defeat for the Bloemfontein outfit since losing to the Sharks in the opening round in February, but they can still dream of a first play-offs appearance with three home games to come.
Man of the match: There were a number of stand-out players - such as Cheetahs' barnstorming prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who kept bowling over opponents. For the Hurricanes there were the silky running of Andre Taylor, the power and poise of Julian Savea and the determination of Victor Vito. However, our award goes to Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett. While plenty of guys put their hands up, when it mattered most he dictated the game with some sublime tactical kicking in the second half. Add to that a personal contribution 24 points, including a try, and you have a real match-winner.
For the Cheetahs:
Tries: Oosthuizen 2, Ebersohn
Cons: Watts 2
Pens: Francis 4, Watts
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Barrett, Savea, Perenara, Vito
Cons: Barrett 2
Pens: Barrett 5
Yellow card: Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs, 15 - professional foul, deliberate knock down)
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Frans Viljoen, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Elgar Watts, 22 Rayno Benjamin.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito (captain), 7 Jack Lam/Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Tusi Pisi, 22 James Marshall.
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)
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