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Cheetahs shock Hurricanes for first NZ victory


Coenie Oosthuizen scores for the Cheetahs

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Article Published: Saturday 31 March 2012


The Cheetahs won their first ever Super Rugby match in New Zealand when they beat the Hurricanes 38-47 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

The result means that the Cheetahs end their most successful Australasian tour with 11 points after two bonus point victories and a losing bonus point from their close loss to the Brumbies.

The painful reality for the Cheetahs is that the result is unlikely to do much for the men from Bloemfontein in the long term as they remain the most likely team to be dropped from Super Rugby in order to make way for the Southern Kings in 2013.

The shock result also means that the Hurricanes have lost their last two matches at home in Wellington after they lost to the Highlanders in Round four.

The Hurricanes were leading early in the first half at 32-11 but allowed the Cheetahs to come back and draw level at 32-all by half time.

Both sides had a four-try bonus point by halftime, the Hurricanes getting theirs inside 30 minutes, but as the game progressed the Cheetahs' forward power made the difference when they cut their turnover rate.

They scored three tries in the closing 10 minutes of the first half to level the scores at 32 each at halftime after trailing 32-11, and when they took the lead for the first time soon after the break they never looked back.

"It's a credit to the guys they've got a never-say-die attitude. It's something we work on very hard. I'm proud of the big guys," said skipper Adriaan Strauss of his forward effort.

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said he never felt comfortable even when his side built up a 21-point lead.

"We were up on points but we hadn't done a lot with the ball, they were all counter-attack tries.

"They were making all the play so I think that told. To their credit, they stuck at it and we weren't getting the turnovers we got early in the game."

The Hurricanes, who have been able to win on the road but not at home this year, set the game alight in the second minute when hooker Dane Coles, at first receiver, side-stepped Cheetahs' fullback Hennie Daniller for the opening try.

Beauden Barrett, the standout director of traffic for the Hurricanes landed the conversion and traded penalties with Cheetahs sharpshooter Johan Goosen before Andries Strauss scored the Cheetahs first try.

It came from a relentless pounding by the Cheetahs pack to move up to the line before the ball was moved wide for Strauss to finish the move.

The Hurricanes replied with two long-distance tries, the first when Coles latched on to turnover ball on his own line for Barrett to finish the move at the other end of the field.

Andre Taylor then benefitted from a turnover ball to start and finish an 80 metre move.

More penalties to Barrett and Goosen and the Hurricanes fourth try to TJ Perenara forced the Cheetahs to go to the bench early to bring on Ashley Johnson as a human battering ram.

The big man did not disappoint playing a central role in the build up to quickfire tries by Daniller, Ryno Benjamin and Coenie Oosthuizen to close out the half.

Another Goosen penalty after halftime put the Cheetahs ahead for the first time 35-32 and Barrett replied immediately but it was clear the momentum was with the tourists.

JP Nel scored their fifth try when the Cheetahs demolished the Hurricanes scrum, fellow prop Oosthuizen scored his second try with 12 minutes remaining and the Hurricanes could not fight back from there.

The Cheetahs and Hurricanes are developing a reputation for high-scoring entertainment with 11 tries scored when the 'Canes won 50-47 last year.

Final Score Hurricanes 38 (32) Cheetahs 47 (32)

Scorers

Hurricanes
Tries - D. Coles, B. Barrett, Taylor, TJ. Perenara
Pen - B. Barrett 4
Con - B. Barrett 3
Drop -
Cards -

Cheetahs
Tries - A. Strauss, H. Daniller, C. Oosthuizen 2, R. Benjamin, WP. Nel
Pen - J. Goosen 3
Con - J. Goosen 4
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Referee
: Ian Smith (Australia)
Assistant Ref 1: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 2: Richard Kelly
TMO: Ben Skeen

Teams

Hurricanes

1. Tristan Moran, 2. Dane Coles, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 4. James Broadhurst, 5. Jeremy Thrush, 6. Faifili Levave, 7. Karl Lowe, 8. Brad Shields, 9. TJ Perenara, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Charlie Ngatai, 13. Conrad Smith (c), 14. Cory Jane, 15. Andre Taylor.

Reserves: 16. Motu Matu'u, 17. Michael Bent, 18.Mark Reddish, 19. Jack Lam, 20. Chris Eaton, 21. Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22. Jayden Hayward.

Cheetahs

15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Ryno Benjamin, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Willie le Roux, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Philip van der Walt, 7. Justin Downey, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. George Earle, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen.

Reserves: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Andries Ferreira, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Philip Snyman.

 
 
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