Hurricanes beat Reds 32-21 in Super Rugby
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Winger Cory Jane scored three tries as the Wellington Hurricanes beat the Queensland Reds 32-21 in Super Rugby on Saturday, extending their winning streak to four games and hoisting themselves to the top of the New Zealand conference.
Jane’s All Blacks teammate, scrumhalf TJ Perenara, and replacement flanker Ardie Savea also scored tries as the Hurricanes claimed a four-try bonus point from their fifth win of the season.
Jane scored two tries within six minutes in the first half and added his third in the 18th minute of the second half to propel the Hurricanes to their fifth win in nine games.
The Reds took a 14-10 lead to halftime but fell behind with Perenara’s try in the 47th minute and conceded three second-half tries.
Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper had a mixed game for the Reds, guiding them well in the first half but costing them heavily with a series of errors in the second.
He created a try for fullback Ben Lucas in the seventh minute, timing a pass to flanker Beau Robinson who broke the midfield defense and passed to Lucas for the opening score of the match.
But the Hurricanes hit back with tries to Jane in the 17th and 23rd minutes to lead 10-8 midway through the first half. Fullback Andre Taylor was a constant attacking threat and played a vital role in the first and third tries to Jane and in Perenara’s score early in the second half.
Penalties to Quade Cooper carried the Reds to a 14-10 lead at halftime but they were already struggling to keep up with the Hurricanes and Perenara’s try, followed by Jane’s third carried the home side to a 22-14 lead.
All Blacks apprentice Ardie Savea scored the decisive try in the 75th minute, crashing onto a short pass and forcing his way over under the posts.
The Hurricanes were able to keep the ball alive through multiple phases and to crack open the Reds defense through players such as Taylor, Jane, flanker Victor Vito and winger Julian Savea.
The Reds, who fell back to 12th place with three wins and six losses, paid for their failure to control possession and to deny the Hurricanes the chance to free their dangerous outside backs.
“We missed too many one on one tackles. We let the Hurricanes get in behind us,” said Reds captain James Horwill, who played his 100th Super Rugby game.
The Hurricanes overtook defending champions the Chiefs to take first place in the New Zealand conference after 11 rounds.
“I think the last few weeks our forwards have muscled up against some fairly good packs and they make it very easy for us in the backs,” Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said. “They’re creating a lot of space so, if teams are concerned about defending our backs, there’s a lot of space up the middle and they’re taking it.”
Hurricanes 32 (Cory Jane 3, TJ Perenara, Ardie Savea tries; Beauden Barrett 2 conversions, penalty), Queensland Reds 21 (Ben Lucas, James Hanson tries; Quade Cooper conversion, 3 penalties). HT: 10-14.