The Hurricanes beat the Sharks 38-22 in Wellington on Saturday after the teams had been locked at 17-17 at the break. SIMON BORCHARDT reports.
The Sharks came into this match full of confidence after their convincing win against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
But they were disrupted by the late withdrawal of tighthead prop Thomas du Toit due to illness and then the loss of winger Makazole Mapimpi and flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain to injury in the first quarter. Sbu Nkosi and Curwin Bosch had, of course, already returned home.
The Sharks will be particularly disappointed with their defence, as they missed 20 tackles (from 81 attempts). They also lost six lineouts and conceded 13 turnovers.
Jordie Barrett kicked an early penalty for the Hurricanes, before Juan Schoeman had a try ruled out – after a break by fellow prop John-Hubert Meyer – due to a forward pass a few phases earlier.
However, the visitors did get on the board when Lukhanyo Am intercepted TJ Perenara’s pass from a lineout inside their 22. The Sharks skipper was chased down by Ben Lam but managed to get the pass away to Madosh Tambwe.
#SuperRugby – HALFTIME:
Hurricanes 17-17 Sharks
An entertaining first half comes to an end with nothing to separate the two teams so far. Who will go on to get an important win?
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) February 15, 2020
The hosts hit back in the 20th minute when they went wide from a scrum and Wes Goosen found himself in acres of space on the right-hand side. Barrett kicked the conversion.
Shortly after, the Sharks’ backs ripped through the Canes’ defence and Tyler Paul went over from close range.
Ngani Laumape collected a cross-kick from Barrett before running around Nohamba to score his team’s second try, which Barrett converted, before Nohamba kicked a penalty to level the scores at 17-17.
The Hurricanes took control of the game with two tries from Lam in the third quarter. First, the winger evaded tackles from Paul and Louis Schreuder. Then, he took a cross-kick and burst away past Aphelele Fassi.
The ‘Canes = 👑’s of the cross kick tonight
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) February 15, 2020
Dale Coles put the result beyond doubt when he went over in the 64th minute, but the Sharks did get another try through Mzamo Majola after Craig Burden had collected the ball from a botched Hurricanes’ lineout.
Hurricanes – Tries: Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam (2), Dane Coles. Conversions: Jordie Barrett (5). Penalty: Barrett.
Sharks – Tries: Madosh Tambwe, Tyler Paul, Mzamo Majola. Conversions: Boeta Chamberlain, Sanele Nohamba. Penalty: Nohamba.
Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Liam Mitchell, 20 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Billy Proctor.
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Mzamo Majola, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Phepsi Buthelezi, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Photo: Marty Melville/www.Photosport.nz