Sunday, May 2, 2010

#1064 ... 'Canes sneek through

Enjoying the atmosphere and drama of a close, end to end game of Super 14 rugby at the Stadium

Ma'a Nonu led from the front and scored a match-winning try for the Hurricanes in their season-saving 33-27 Super 14 rugby defeat of the Chiefs in Wellington on Saturday night.

The hosts somehow emerged on top in a frantic game which saw Chiefs first five-eighth Callum Bruce miss a straightforward penalty shot with two minutes remaining that would have handed his side the lead and a potential upset win. Instead Hurricanes prop Tialata drove over for just his third try in 85 matches for the franchise on the final hooter, earning a bonus point which could yet grant them a late entry into the competition semifinals.

The Hurricanes climb to within two points of the top four, with matches remaining against the Reds and Waratahs while the Chiefs remain stuck in mid-table, having gone winless through four matches. Down by 16 points after half an hour, the Hurricanes dominated possession and the penalty count in the second half to surge back, with Nonu a constant menace on attack. He scored the decisive try to give his team the lead with just 5min remaining, storming 30m after a sharp break from deep by winger Hosea Gear.

They then breathed a collective sigh of belief when Bruce botched his penalty shot. His team landed just three from seven shots, let down again by poor goalkicking following their awful efforts in last last week's 25-all draw with the Cheetahs.

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