Hurricanes secure key win in Durban

Lynn McConnell     02 Jun 2019    

With two rounds remaining, it helped the Hurricanes firm up the fourth placing they need to secure a home quarterfinal as they have 44 points with the Lions, their next opponent ,on 35 and the Rebels on 34.

For the Sharks, the playoffs look a bridge to far, especially as their next game is against the South Africa Conference-leading Jaguares in Argentina.

The Hurricanes picked themselves up from their last game, a loss to the Jaguares at home, with the only disappointment being the loss of flanker Vaea Fifita who was sent off with five minutes remaining when a high hit on Sharks flanker Jean-Luc du Preez was ruled against him.

It took only five minutes before first five-eighths Beauden Barrett capitalised on an earlier strong run by centre Matt Proctor. As play developed in the Sharks 22m area, the ball came out to Barrett, who stepped two defenders before slipping a short pass to brother and fullback Jordie, running a good angle to score.

Beauden then landed two penalty goals, to one by the home side's five-eighths Curwin Bosch to have the Hurricanes out to a 13-3 lead after 16 minutes.

While the Hurricanes have endured scrum issues during the season, they gained a scrum penalty 32 minutes into the game and opted to kick to the corner. Fed the ball quickly, second five-eighths Ngani Laumape had a full head of steam on and burst his way to the line, stretching out to get the ball on the chalk and win the decision from the TMO.

Having been on the back foot for much of the half, the Sharks got a boost when flanker Jean-Luc du Preez broke through to create good ball on his right flank where fullback Aphelele Fassi showed his speed to cross wide out. That gave the Hurricanes a 20-10 halftime lead.

Another strong break by the Sharks opened the second half as wing Makazole Mapimpi and Fassi set up quality ball after strong runs and support player, halfback Louis Schreuder, went close to scoring. However, from the breakdown replacement prop Juan Schoeman got over for the try.

Flanker Ardie Savea won a key penalty at a tackle when Lukhanyo Am held on too long which Beauden Barrett used to extend the lead to 23-17.

However, the power men in the Hurricanes side stepped up with Savea prominent in the loose while Laumape and Ben Lam constantly proved a handful for the Shark's defence. The Hurricanes also ensured they didn't provide the dangerous Sharks rearguard too many more opportunities, especially during the mid and late stages of the second half.

The Hurricanes won a Sharks lineout throw 66 minutes into the game and the ball was quickly moved for wing Wes Goosen to score a grand wing's try, beating defenders off during a pacy sideline burst.

Scorers: Sharks 17 (Aphelele Fassi, Juan Schoeman tries; Curwin Bosch 2 con, pen) Hurricanes 30 (Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape, Wes Goosen tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con, 3 pen). HT: 10-20