Super Rugby - Hurricanes resurrect season with win over Force

The Wellington Hurricanes resurrected their Super Rugby season after a heavy defeat at the hands of the Auckland Blues with a 22-16 victory over a stubborn Western Force side in their clash at Wellington Regional Stadium on Friday.

Reuters
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Tusi Pisi of Samoa and The Hurricanes (Reuters)

The victory, courtesy of tries to Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Brad Shields and Tusi Pisi and seven points from Beauden Barrett's boot moved the Hurricanes back into playoffs contention on 27 points.

The Force have won just two games, including a 16-14 win over the seven times champions Canterbury Crusaders last week, but have proved hard to put away with their largest defeat by just 12 points and it transpired again on Friday.

Former Hurricanes players Alby Mathewson and Jayden Hayward came back to haunt their old team mates, scoring all of the Force's points.

Scrumhalf Mathewson scored a brilliant individual try jinking around the home side's defence from an attacking scrum while fullback Hayward punished their transgressions with three penalties and a conversion.

Barrett had slotted a penalty to open the scoring before the home side blew two gilt-edged chances with the tryline open when Alapati Leiua knocked the ball on in goal, while Barrett knocked on after he had followed up a loose ball he had kicked ahead.

The Hurricanes, however, were able to cross twice when tighthead prop Toomaga-Allen barrelled over after lock Jeremy Thrush had ripped the ball off opposite number Toby Lynn in a maul.

Blindside flanker Shields then crashed over in the corner after Leiua had wrongfooted the defence and ran 50 metres up the middle of the field to pass to a rampaging Shields.

Hayward scored the visitors only points in the first half with a penalty as the home side went into the break with a 15-3 lead.

Hayward reduced the gap early in the second half with another penalty, before the home side struck back virtually immediately when flyhalf Pisi got free of the defenders after some composed build-up by the forwards.

Barrett added his second conversion to give a 22-6 lead that the small crowd of 7,783 expected to be enough of an advantage to hold on to before Mathewson scored his try and Hayward added the conversion and his third penalty to make it interesting.

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