Abbott double edges Blues

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 07:05
Large mark abbott hurricanes charges 800

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: A Mark Abbott brace, including a 74th-minute converted try, handed the Hurricanes a narrow 28-24 victory over the Blues on Saturday.

Flyhalf Beauden Barrett was instrumental in three of the four Hurricanes tries in the fast but scrappy encounter where missed tackles and turnovers were rife.

The Blues, who have not beaten a New Zealand side at home since they downed the Highlanders in the first round of 2016, hit the front for the first time against the Hurricanes with 15 minutes remaining. 

But despite their desire to arrest their dismal home record, they could not stop Barrett engineering a late match-winning try. The Blues were pressing the Hurricanes line looking to extend their lead when Barrett chipped ahead and regathered to spark a move that swept the length of the field.

It ended with the flyhalf angling a kick towards the corner where lock Mark Abbott, who scored the first try, was on hand to score the decider. 

"It took a pretty special play from Beauden to get them down their end. That was the big play that we were looking for to win, and they won it unfortunately," Blues captain James Parsons said. 

Barrett called it a "spur of the moment play" but Canes captain TJ Perenara said it typified their never-say-die attitude. 

"We were under the pump for a big part of that second half and for us not to concede too much and to be able to get up and over the line, I'm proud of that," Perenara said.

Both sides traded tries through the first quarter, with Abbott scoring in the third minute and Augustine Pulu replying for the Blues from the restart. Barrett sent Ngani Laumape for the Hurricanes' second try with Melani Nanai equalising for the Blues. 

Sonny Bill Williams fumbled a short pass to gift Barrett a try in the 27th minute, which put the Hurricanes ahead 21-14. But as much as Barrett starred with his ability to read the game and shred the defence, he again found himself in hot water with his third yellow card in two weeks. 

He received two last week for deliberate knock downs against the Waratahs, and he was sent off late in the first half for knocking the ball out of the hands of scrumhalf Pulu.

The Blues gained nothing from their one-man advantage but hit the front midway through the second half when Bryn Gatland, the son of Wales coach Warren Gatland, took the field.

The replacement flyhalf landed a penalty and converted a try by Scott Scrafton to have the Blues up 24-21 before Abbott sealed the outcome for the Hurricanes.

The defending champions have six wins from seven games, to sit four points behind the unbeatenCrusaders in the New Zealand conference while the Blues are at the bottom with just three wins from eight outings.

Man of the match: Blake Gibson and Jerome Kaino were special in their efforts at the breakdown while Steven Luatua put in a massive shift. Jordie Barrett was once again steady with his boot and Ngani Laumape was evasive with ball-in-hand. TJ Perenara was busy always and Ardie Savea provided plenty of force. Mark Abbott worked tirelessly throughout the encounter but our ward goes to Hurricanes flyhalf Beauden Barrett, who ran riot once again despite receiving a third yellow card in two matches.

Scorers:

For the Blues:
Tries: Pulu, Nanai, Scrafton
Cons: Francis 2, Gatland
Pen: Gatland

For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Abbott 2, Laumape, B Barrett
Cons: J Barrett 4

Yellow card: Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes, 31 - intentionally knocking the ball down)

Teams:

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Melani Nanai, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 George Moala.

Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Michael Fatialofa, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28