Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Hurricanes pick up patchy win

Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes beats the tackle of Sergeal Petersen of the Kings to score a try during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings. Photo / Getty Images.
Conrad Smith of the Hurricanes beats the tackle of Sergeal Petersen of the Kings to score a try during the round seven Super Rugby match between the Hurricanes and the Kings. Photo / Getty Images.

Hurricanes 46
Kings 30

If seeing plenty of points is your thing then the Hurricanes' 46-30 victory over the Southern Kings at Westpac Stadium in Wellington this afternoon would have been right up your alley.

In an outing that was low on quality, the Hurricanes eventually found their way to the bonus-point win over the South African strugglers but the home side looked very much like a team coming off the bye.

A crowd of 15,103 piled in to the Cake Tin on Easter Saturday in hope of seeing something special but some of the kids would have been more happy with the free chocolate they were given on the walkway heading in to the ground than the quality of rugby they saw.

Hurricanes prop Ben May opened the scoring when he barrelled over for his first try in Super Rugby in only the third minute.

It took the giant bookend 55 appearances in the competition to get across the line but he did it in fine style as he crashed through a couple of hapless would-be Kings defenders.

From there it was all go with both sides piling on the points throughout the opening spell as Conrad Smith, TJ Perenara and Jeremy Thrush all dotted down for the Hurricanes while Beauden Barrett kept the scoreboard ticking over with his right boot.

The Kings wouldn't be denied getting in on the act either as lock Steven Sykes crossed untouched for an easy try mid-way through the first spell, while first-five Demetri Catrakilis added a conversion and three penalties.

After starting the second half 29-16 ahead, the Hurricanes struggled to gel as the game laboured along in unspectacular fashion with both sides guilty of making unforced errors.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett went to his bench in search of inspiration and had most of his subs on the paddock by the 62nd minute.

By that time the Kings had fought their way back in to the game after centre Ronnie Cooke grabbed a five-pointer for the visitors as the match harboured a festival feel to it.

A Catrakilis conversion then had the Kings within six points before Brad Shields scored his first Super Rugby try to give Hammett's men some breathing space at 36-23.

The Kings, who came in to the game as $10 outsiders with the bookies, refused to be run over though and despite being dealt their fourth loss of the season showed decent fight throughout the contest and also scored the game's final try.

In the last 10 minutes, Barrett added another penalty for the Hurricanes, while wing Alapati Leiua grabbed his second intercept try of the season.

The win was the Hurricanes' third from five matches and lifted them in to fifth place on the ladder but numerous other teams are still to play this weekend.

Hurricanes 46 (Ben May, Conrad Smith, TJ Perenara, Jeremy Thrush, Brad Shields, Alapati Leiua tries; Beauden Barrett 5 cons, 2 pens) Southern Kings 30 (Steven Sykes, Ronnie Cooke, Hannes Franklin tries; Demetri Catrakilis 2 cons, 3 pens, George Whitehead con) HT: 29-16

- APNZ

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