Gear leads Hurricanes to victory

All Blacks winger Hosea Gear scored a try in each half to lead the Wellington Hurricanes to a 29-12 victory over South Africa’s Cheetahs in a Super 14 match in New Plymouth on Saturday. Gear scored both tries from turnovers, the first after 20 minutes and the second just after halftime when the Wellington-based side broke out of their own half and the left winger sprinted 50 metres to give his side breathing room.

The try came immediately after the Cheetahs’ Wayne van Heerden had scored under the posts in the 42nd minute and flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter’s conversion had brought the winless South African side within five points at 17-12.

Gear’s score virtually ended the game as a contest on a sun-drenched day before All Blacks prop John Schwalger scored Wellington’s bonus point fourth try midway through the second half, flopping over after a series of phases.

Wellington flyhalf Piri Weepu added two conversions and a penalty for the Hurricanes, while his replacement Willie Ripia converted Schwalger’s try. Fullback Tamati Ellison also scored a try for the home side right on the halftime hooter.

Cheetahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius scored the visitors’ first try when he capitalised on a terrible Hurricanes lineout, which failed to function the entire game, and snapped up the loose ball and waltzed through close to the line.

”They are very tall and put a lot of pressure on our lineout,” Hurricanes captain Rodney So’oialo said after the Cheetahs won 11 of his side’s lineout throws. ”It was difficult for us to get first phase going.” — Reuters

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