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Hurricanes cruise to big win over Sharks

Date

HURRICANES 42 SHARKS 18

Down but not out ... Jack Lam of the Hurricanes is palmed off by Frederic Michalak of the Sharks.

Down but not out ... Jack Lam of the Hurricanes is palmed off by Frederic Michalak of the Sharks. Photo: Getty Images

The Hurricanes grabbed their first home win of their Super Rugby season when they overcame the Sharks 42-18 in New Plymouth on Friday.

MATCH STATS

In a contest between two mid-table teams who had gone in with identical 3-3 win-loss records, the Hurricanes scored six tries to two, a margin that belied the threat the Sharks often showed with ball in hand.

But the visitors were hampered by a combination of their own infringements in attack and by some resilient Hurricanes defence.

The encounter was punctuated by a flare-up just after the half-hour which involved several players and led referee Glen Jackson to refer the whole incident to the citing commissioner.

Jackson also showed the white card to the two players whose actions sparked the melee - Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis and Hurricanes breakaway Karl Lowe.

Du Plessis had reacted to something that happened in a breakdown by striking Lowe's face with his right hand.

The Sharks began the match with plenty of intent and would have been frustrated to find themselves 25-3 down at halftime despite dominating territory and possession.

Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor continued his excellent form with the opening try after a superb 40-metre run.

The home side, who had lost twice in Wellington this season, crossed again when they grabbed a turnover deep in opposition territory and Lowe was driven over.

On the stroke of halftime, winger Julian Savea dotted down for his first five-pointer for the Hurricanes.

Centre JP Pietersen finally scored the Sharks a try early in the second half, but opposite Conrad Smith snared the Hurricanes' bonus-point fourth just minutes later.

Hurricanes inside centre Tim Bateman, with a nifty kick and regather, finished off a length-of-the-field attack begun by a Lowe turnover.

Hardworking hooker Craig Burden grabbed one back for the Sharks, but replacement lock Jeremy Thrush sealed the victory when he touched down just before the finish.

HURRICANES 42 (Tim Bateman, Karl Lowe, Julian Savea, Conrad Smith, Andre Taylor, Jeremy Thrush tries Beauden Barrett 3 cons 2 pens) bt SHARKS 18 (Craig Burden, JP Pietersen tries Frederic Michalak con 2 pens) at Yarrow Stadium. Referee: Glen Jackson.

AAP

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