Red-hot Hurricanes blow away the Blues
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