Red-hot Hur­ri­canes blow away the Blues

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT -

THE red-hot Welling­ton Hur­ri­canes recorded their ninth straight Su­per Rugby win with a bonus point 36-15 vic­tory over the Auck­land Blues at Eden Park yes­ter­day.

This ex­tended the home side’s win­less streak against the New Zealand op­po­si­tion to 16 matches.

Tries from hooker Ricky Ric­citelli, loose for­ward Gareth Evans, full­back Nehe Mil­nerSkud­der, lock Sam Lousi and cen­tre Matt Proc­tor were enough to see off a spir­ited Blues chal­lenge and send the Hur­ri­canes to the top of the stand­ings.

The Blues, who had tries from cen­tre Or­byn Leger and prop Ofa Tu­un­gafasi ei­ther side of half­time, played plenty of en­ter­pris­ing rugby but were un­able to match the dis­ci­pline or the ex­e­cu­tion of the Hur­ri­canes at key mo­ments.

The Hur­ri­canes lead the Can­ter­bury Cru­saders by three points in the New Zealand con­fer­ence, hav­ing played a match fewer than the reign­ing cham­pi­ons, who would be ex­pected to re­turn to the top after they host the New South Wales Waratahs to­day.

The 2016 cham­pi­ons had beaten the Blues in their last five meet­ings and laid down an early marker when they kicked a penalty to touch and Ric­citelli rum­bled over the line on the back of the en­su­ing rolling maul in the sixth minute.

The Blues tried to em­u­late their op­po­nents to get on the score­board, but were un­able to get their catch-and-drive go­ing as ef­fi­ciently and Stephen Pero­feta slot­ted a penalty after 14 min­utes in­stead.

After the half-hour mark, Hur­ri­canes num­ber eight Evans caught the Blues nap­ping with a quickly-taken penalty, giv­ing the vis­i­tors a 14-8 lead they held un­til eight min­utes into the sec­ond half. – Reuters

TOUCH­DOWN: Matt Proc­tor of the Hur­ri­canes scores a try dur­ing their Su­per Rugby match against the Blues yes­ter­day

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