Super Rugby: Julian Savea scores twice as Hurricanes beat Waratahs 41-29
Last Updated: 06/04/13 10:37am
Julian Savea touched down twice as the Hurricanes claimed their fourth consecutive Super Rugby win by beating the Waratahs 41-29 in Wellington on Saturday.
The match was delicately poised at half-time as the hosts went in with a narrow 19-16 lead, but they pulled away in the opening stages of the second period with three unanswered tries all but settling the contest.
The Waratahs did manage a couple of their own late on to add respectability, but the game was up by then.
The bonus-point result catapults the Hurricanes into the play-off places in the overall standings and second in the New Zealand conference.
Both Saveas were prominent as Julien's younger brother Ardie also made an eye-catching debut in the Hurricanes' back row.
Julian Savea was first to cross the whitewash, using his pace to race home after an intelligent pass from Conrad Smith.
Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett added his second penalty to go with the conversion to give the hosts a 13-6 lead after 20 minutes.
Waratahs No 10 Bernard Foley beat four defenders on a jinking run to score and pull the visitors back into contention, though, with Brendan McKibbin's conversion levelling matters.
Barrett and McKibbin traded penalties until half time and it was anyone's game at the break.
But Hurricanes opened up in the second half with three tries in 12 minutes to all but end the Waratahs' hopes of victory.
Prop Reggie Goodes showed great hands to collect another try-creating pass from Smith to get the ball rolling, before hooker Motu Matu'u added his name to the scoresheet after Barrett's neat chip ahead.
Savea bagged his brace with a superb piece of individual skill as he scooped up a low bouncing ball and stepped clear all in one movement before diving under the posts after another chip over the top caught the Waratahs out.
Adam Ashley-Cooper went over on the hour mark and Israel Folau showed impressive strength to power his way over in the last ten minutes, but it was too little, too late to save the game for the Tahs.