Hurricanes spoil Benji's party

Sat, 01 Feb 2014 07:01
Large benji marshall blues v cane Large benji marshall blues traini Large benji marshall blues train2

The headlines were all about Benji Marshall, but the real winners were the Hurricanes.

The headlines were all about Benji Marshall, but the real winners were the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes spoiled Marshall's party, his debut in Rugby Union after his conversion from Rugby League, as they came from behind to beat the Blues 38-35 in their pre-season outing in Masterton  on Saturday.

The former Kiwi League captain, Marshall, played in the first half and some of the New Zealand media reports raved about his performance.

However, it was the Hurricanes's second-half comeback, after they trailed by 16 points, that deserved the accolades.

In the more balanced reports to emerge from Masterton it is stated that Marshall wasn't the best on show.

That honour went to Blues centre George Moala, who broke the line at will, while two-try wing Tevita Li also showed his ability to beat tacklers and finish.

For the Hurricanes Marshall's opposite Marty Banks shone in his first match at this level.

The Tasman pivot set up the first try of the match for scrumhalf Chris Smylie, with an early dart down the blind then sprinted 80 metres for a try of his own after swooping on a loose pass.

More impressive was the way Banks directed play during the fourth quarter, after skipping the third, to lead the Hurricanes back with late tries to midfielder Hadleigh Parkes and James Broadhurst.

The Hurricanes raced into a 19-0 lead in the first quarter, before the Blues came back in the second to take a narrow 21-19 lead at half-time.

The Blues dominated the third quarter to race into a 35-19 lead, before the home side unleashed their fierce attacking power with three more tries in the final quarter and steal the victory.

The sell -out crowd of 6000 were treated to an entertaining match with 11 tries - six to the Hurricanes.

Early on, the Hurricanes capitalised on an attacking that line that was too lateral and they pounced on three turnovers to race to a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Banks was directly involved in the first two of these tries, him and right wing Andre Taylor involved in the game's opening try to halfback Chris Smylie and then Banks running all of 80 metres to score himself.

Hurricanes prop Chris Eves made a turnover in midfield, leading to the next try to fullback Nene Milner-Skudder.

The Blues struck in the second quarter, scoring three tries and taking a 21-19 lead into halftime.

Wings Tevita Li, Lolagi Visinia and centre George Moala scored tries for the Blues. All were converted.

The Blues scored their fourth try early in the fourth quarter to replacement Sonetane Takulua, and then wing Li ran in his brace on the end of the chain of an attacking line-out, putting them ahead 35-19.

The Hurricanes came roaring back in the fourth quarter, with tries being scored by inside centre and flank Callum Gibbins and then Broadhurst at the end.

Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said despite the pleasing score line he was thrilled with his team's defensive work particularly in the first quarter. He also paid special mention to Banks who scored a stunning try and kicked three conversions.

"Marty's defensive game was a highlight for me," said Hammett.

Other Hurricanes players to standout included loose forwards Brad Shields and Ardie Savea and replacement hooker Motu Matu'u who added energy late in the match.

For the Blues, centre Moala was their best player on the day.

The scorers:

For the Hurricanes:
Tries:
Smylie, Banks, Milner-Skudder, Gibbins, Parkes, Broadhurst
Cons: Banks 3, Taylor

For the Blues:
Tries:
Li 2, Visinia, Willison, Takulua
Cons: Nikoro 3, Kerr 2

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Andre Taylor, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Cardiff Vaega, 11 Matt Proctor, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jack Lam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Brendon Edmonds, 2 Joe Royal, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements - from: Motu Matu'u, Adrian Barone, John Schwalger, Mark Reddish, Adam Hill, Callum Gibbins, Billy Guyton, Beaudein Waaka, Hadleigh Parkes, Newton Tudreu.

Blues: 15 Albert Nikoro, 14 Lolagi Visinia, 13 George Moala, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Benji Marshall, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Kane Barrett, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Sam Prattley.
Replacements - from: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, William Lloyd, Tom Murday, Jordan Manihera, Chris Vui, Jamison Gibson-Park, Sonatane Takulua, Baden Kerr, Matt McGahan, Marty Swart.

Referee: Chris Pollock

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28