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PICTURE: Getty Images
Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes on the attack during the match against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.
Hurricanes show grit
to go with style
A match which promised much in terms
of attack was instead settled by grit and
sheer bloody-mindedness, the Hurricanes
preser ving their unbeaten record for the
season last night and enhancing their title
credentials in the process.
This was a slow-burner of a game, the
Highlanders living off scraps of possession
and territory in the second half, but hanging
in there, as they do, and they put enormous
pressure on the visitors under the D unedin
It began with a series of mistakes, with
Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith beset by
ner ves, and finished with all-out attack and it
was the Hurricanes on the right side of the
ledger at a place which has become difficult
for visiting teams to win at.
It also finished in controversy, the
Highlanders were over for a try in the final
minute which could have drawn the match,
but referee Ben O’Keeffe had already called
for a for ward pass, which looked marginal.
It left the Highlanders’ players and
supporters extremely disappointed. The
Hurricanes’ fans, meanwhile, will be hoping
that this is their year and at the moment their
team is not doing much to disabuse them of
Ben Smith was again the architect for the
Highlanders’ inevitable comeback after they
beat the odds to claw their way back from
the death against the Chiefs and Waratahs,
but he was also at fault for the disallowing
of a Highlanders’ try — his cleanout of Brad
Shields on the Hurricanes’ line deemed
With All Blacks such as Julian Savea, T J
Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Ma’a Nonu and
Cory Jane in the Hurricanes’ backline, along
with the Highlanders’ liking for an open
game, it seemed a try-fest was in the offing,
but rather than an outside back it was prop
Reggie Goodes who went over from close
for the first try — but not until well into the
Despite the setback the Highlanders
were in it until the final nine minutes until
halfback Perenara went over for a converted
try after a Julian Savea charge. It sealed it for
the Hurricanes, but it was perhaps tough on
It looked as if they had discovered the
key to defeating the Hurricanes — a totally
committed defensive effort led by wing
Patrick Osborne who charged into contact
like a man possessed. Their for wards were
also extremely good in defending around the
ruck. Once again they proved they won’t be
pushovers this season.
It meant breaks were kept to a minimum,
despite the Hurricanes’ firepower, but
gradually men such as Shields and Victor
Vito began making inroads and in Nonu the
Hurricanes had a defensive powerhouse in
the final desperate minutes.
Lima Sopoaga’s try at the death, which
came just after Julian Savea was sinbinned for
offside, was a deser ved consolation.
Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said
after wards: “It was tough, we knew it was
going to be. It just came down to a few
It is five from five for the Hurricanes, who,
Smith said, were looking to prove a few
people wrong this season after being known
as perennial under-achievers. Their only sour
note of the night was the arm injury to flanker
Ardie Savea, who was taken to hospital.
Hurricanes: 20 (Reggie Goodes, T J
Perenara tries; Beauden Barrett 3 pens, con)
beat Highlanders: 13 (Lima Sopoaga try; 2
pens, con). Half-time: 3-3. — NZ ME
Late Lions try rocks Rebels
The Melbourne Rebels have
blown a chance to claim rare
consecutive super rugby victories
by conceding a late try to hand
the Lions a 20-16 victory at
Following last round’s win over
the Western Force the Rebels
looked like banking their first
back-to-back wins since 2013
until a late defensive lapse
allowed Lions centre Lionel
Mapoe to cross in the 78th
That gave the South African
visitors an 18-16 lead, with Elton
Jantjies converting for the final
The Rebels were the better side
for the bulk of the match and
took a 13-3 lead into half-time.
The Lions drew first blood in
the second half with five-eighth
Marnitz Boshoff scoring after
just four minutes.
Jantjies added the extras and
then tied up the match at 13-13
with a 61st minute penalty.
It did not last long, with
Rebels’ No 10 Mike Harris
regaining the lead for his team
with a penalty.
Playing his 50th Super
match, sharpshooter Harris was
unusually off-target, missing
three kicks that he normally
Melbourne started with a
flourish, completely dominating
the first half in terms of territory
and possession and it should
have been further ahead.
The 10-point lead came through
tries by centre Mitch Inman and
teenage Rebels debutant fullback
Those tries came while the
Lions were a man down with
lock Franco Mostert yellow-
carded in the fourth minute for
a deliberate foul when he came
from off-side to knock the ball
out of the hands of Rebels
halfback Nic Stirzaker.
Inman used his brute strength
to barrel across the line following
a line-out while 19-year-old
Placid ran on to a long Lopeti
Timani ball which caught the
Lions defence short out wide.
McGahan said he was “shocked”
by his team’s late capitulation.
It followed a similar pattern
the players displayed against the
Force game but they were able to
hold on for the win.
“I ’m still coming to grips with
it,” he said.
it with a lot of control, and then
to have it taken away from us at
“ You’ve got to play for 80
minutes and the Lions stuck in
and hung in for 80 minutes.”
The Rebels had a try in each
half disallowed — one due to an
Stirzaker knock-on in the lead-
up while Harris failed to clearly
ground the ball in the second
“They prevented tries just from
sheer desperation,” McGahan
“ We would have liked to have
been more up at half-time but we
“ We’ve got to continue to learn
these very, very harsh lessons
unfortunately.” — AAP
PICTURE: Getty Images
Lions’ Lionel Mapoe is tackled by Tamati Ellison of the Rebels
during the match in Melbourne.
Aust sets up showdown with India
Another Steve Smith gem
and Shane Watson’s sur vival of
brutal bodyline bowling inspired
Australia to a six-wicket triumph
against Pakistan in yesterday’s
World Cup quarter-final.
Smith compiled a classy 65 and
Watson, who was headhunted
by Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz,
made an unbeaten 64 as Australia
reached its 214-run target with
a whopping 97 balls to spare at
Adelaide O val.
The Australians, who finished
at 216 for four, booked a semi-
final berth against India on
Thursday, in Sydney after Wahab
produced one of the fiercest, and
most theatrical, bowling spells of
After Australia’s recalled fast
bowler Josh Hazlewood snared
four wickets as Pakistan was
bowled out for 213, the host
team cruised to 49 for one in
the eighth over when Wahab
was summoned, and he brought
a vicious tone to the knockout
The left-arm quick dismissed
David Warner (24 from 23 balls)
and, next over, produced a searing
short ball which Australian
captain Michael Clarke could
only fend to short leg.
Pakistani bull who spent the
next four overs seemingly trying
to knock the Australian’s block
After bouncing Watson first
ball, Wahab’s follow-through
continued until under the
bemused batsman’s nose.
In a relentless short-ball
barrage, Wahab almost badged
the Australian a few times,
applause and even blowing a kiss
Wahab should have had the last
laugh: Watson, on four, hooked
to Rahat Ali at fine leg only for
the Pakistani to drop a dolly
of a catch — it was a defining
Their actions and verbal
exchanges will cost them though,
with the ICC deciding later they
should be charged with code of
“Shane Watson and Wahab
Riaz charged for breaching
ICC Code of Conduct. Details
to be announced on Saturday,”
the game’s governing body
Watson and Smith, who was
the calm in the storm, put on an
89-run partnership which laid
the platform for victory.
Smith’s 69-ball knock ended
when trapped lbw by Ehsan
Adil, but by then the host nation
required only another 65 runs
from more than 23 overs.
Watson and Glenn Maxwell
(44 from 29 balls) reeled in the
target after Australia produced a
commanding performance in the
Australia recalled Hazlewood
to replace Pat Cummins and
he produced superb figures
of four for 35 from 10 overs.
Fellow quick Mitchell Starc and
spinner Maxwell both took two
Pakistan’s batting never gained
traction from hitting two bumps.
The first was losing two wickets
in three balls to be 24 for two in
the sixth over.
The next was losing four for 61
in a middle-order slump which
left them 158 for six in the 34th
over — from which the team did
The loss ends the one-day
international careers of Pakistani
captain Misbah-ul-Haq and
all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who
previously announced they would
retire at the end of Pakistan’s cup
Misbah laid the blame for the
loss at his batsmen.
“ We just lost our way in the
middle overs . . . and that has
been a trend throughout the
World Cup, we are getting starts
but not converting into bigger
scores,” he said.
“ We got only one (individual)
tournament and this is not how
you win tournaments like the
World Cup. ”
performance of Wahab for giving
“ Today he has shown his class
again,” he said.
“At one stage he was keeping
us in the game. That (Watson
dropped) catch would have made
a big difference.”
Clarke hailed Watson’s
performance in the face of
Wahab’s sustained attack.
“That is as good as I have faced
in one-day cricket for a long
time,” Clarke said.
“It probably gave us a look
at what it would be like to face
Mitchell Johnson in the Ashes.
“Credit to Watto, the way he
hung in there. Obviously he had
they had taken that catch at fine
leg, who knows?”
The Australian skipper was also
quick to turn his focus to the
next challenge, against India at
“Thursday becomes our World
Cup final and we look for ward to
it,” he said. — AAP
PICTURE: Getty Images
Wahab Riaz of Pakistan confronts Australian batsman Shane
Watson in the Cricket World Cup match at Adelaide Oval.
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