Hurricanes survive Suva test to maintain perfect Super Rugby record - Hindustan Times
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Hurricanes survive Suva test to maintain perfect Super Rugby record

AFP |
Apr 19, 2024 03:08 PM IST

Hurricanes survive Suva test to maintain perfect Super Rugby record

The Wellington Hurricanes made it eight wins from eight at the top of the Super Rugby table on Friday with a hard-fought 38-15 victory at the Fijian Drua.

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Despite conceding three second-half yellow cards the Hurricanes maintained their perfect start to the season by outscoring the hosts five tries to two in front of a boisterous 15,000 crowd in Suva.

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"It was pretty crazy, awesome atmosphere. It was a good test of our character. We talk about new challenges and this was definitely one of them," said Hurricanes captain Brad Shields.

"We didn't think we would be down to 13," he added as the Hurricanes lost two players to the sin-bin midway through the second half, "but it shows good character. I'm really proud of our effort."

This is the first time the Drua have lost at home this season after wins over the Canterbury Crusaders, New South Wales Waratahs and Western Force.

Both sides claimed early tries before the Hurricanes stamped their authority.

They struck early when centre Billy Proctor picked up a loose ball and crashed over, but the Drua hit back when their 19-year-old fly-half Isikeli Rabitu dived over after a superb break by centre Iosefo Masi.

The New Zealand team pulled away with three unanswered tries.

No. 8 Devan Flanders crashed over from the back of a scrum, centre Jordie Barrett crossed after a break by Proctor and hooker James O'Reilly scored after breaking from a maul.

The Drua were 28-7 down at half-time, but fought back after the break as home flanker Kitione Salawa grabbed a try from a driving maul.

As the Drua piled on the pressure, the Hurricanes had two players sin-binned near their line in quick succession.

Flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi was shown a yellow card for a high tackle, then lock Isaia Walker-Leawere was dismissed for 10 minutes after not staying on his feet at a ruck.

Despite the numerical disadvantage the Hurricanes defence held firm as Drua place kicker Kemu Valetini and Barrett traded penalties.

Caleb Delany was then also sin-binned, but the visitors scored the final try when prop Xavier Numia mauled his way over.

ryj/pst

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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