Hurricanes thwart late Force backlash to hold out for victory
Last Updated: 19/04/13 6:56pm
Brad Shields broke through the Force defence as the Hurricanes amassed a strong first-half lead
The Hurricanes ran in three tries on their way to a 22-16 victory against the Western Force in a fiercely contested Super Rugby encounter.
Scores courtesy of Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Brad Shields and Tusi Pisi were enough to see the Hurricanes home despite a late Force backlash.
Full-back Beauden Barrett opened the scoring with a successful penalty kick as the hosts took the early initiative with Julian Savea's perfectly weighed grubber sending Alapati Leiua close to line before the winger knocked on.
Prop Toomaga-Allen successfully broke through moments later to score the first Hurricanes try before Barrett's conversion gave the hosts a ten-point lead.
Less than nine minutes had elapsed when Leiua danced through the Force defence to find Shields on the outside to crash over the line for the Hurricanes.
A Jayden Hayward penalty was the lone highlight keeping Force hopes alive in the first period as the visitors trailed 15-3.
Hayward doubled his tally early in the second half but the visitors took a further blow when Hurricanes fly-half Pisi touched down a third try before Barrett's conversion extended the lead to 16.
Force scrum-half Alby Mathewson side-stepped his way past a drifting Hurricanes defence as the visitors launched a spirited comeback.
The Hurricanes discipline faltered in the second period and when James Broadhurst found himself in the sin bin the door was left wide open for the Force with 10 minutes on the clock.
Despite the hosts being reduced to 14 the Force once again found themselves on the back foot as they failed to seize the opportunity presented to them slipping to a 22-16 defeat at the WestPac Stadium.
Victory elevates the Hurricanes above both the Cheetahs and Bulls who are in action on Saturday while just one win in five leaves the Force struggling in 12th.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 10
The Bulls moved top of the South African conference after defeating the Kings 34-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
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A late Willie le Roux try confirmed a 12-6 victory for the Cheetahs over South African rivals the Sharks on Saturday.