Hurricanes tame Lions to maintain unbeaten start to season

The Wellington Hurricanes maintained their unbeaten start to the Super 14 season with a 31-18 victory over the Lions at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Hurricanes flyhalf Piri Weepu scored seven points, scampering over the line shortly before half-time after receiving a Rodney So’oialo pass and then converting after captain Andrew Hore scored a second-half try.

Trailing 21-7 at half-time, the Lions clawed back to within six points shortly after the break when number eight Todd Clever, the competition’s first American player, spun over the line on the left hand side before fullback Earl Rose scored a penalty.

However, hooker Hore halted the comeback with an exhilarating charge, cantering over the line after shrugging off three tacklers and sidestepping another to put the Hurricanes 26-15 ahead.

Rose pegged the margin back to 10 with another penalty before the contest descended into a scrappy affair as both sides pushed for further scores but fell short.

Hurricanes winger David Smith sealed the win, however, rushing over the line with just over 10 minutes left after a chain of passes from centre Ma’a Nonu and fullback Cory Jane.

Michael Paterson scored the Hurricanes’ first of four tries after stealing the ball from the line-out to open an 11-0 lead after two earlier penalties.

The Hurricanes earned a bonus point from their third win in as many matches for scoring four or more tries.

“We’ll get on the plane on Monday morning and head over to Africa and see if we can keep the roll on. It was obviously a little bit more scrappy than we thought but we’ll take the four points and move on,” Hore said in a televised interview.

The win continued the Hurricanes’ home domination over the Lions, who slumped to their third straight defeat and have never won in 23 matches in New Zealand. - Reuters

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