Southern Kings 30
After Ben May's first Super Rugby try was stolen from him a couple of years ago, he was finally able to break his drought in Wellington last night.
The 1.93m Hurricanes prop crashed over for the first five-pointer of the afternoon in only the third minute of the game yesterday as the Wellington-based franchise breezed past a spirited Southern Kings side 46-30 at Westpac Stadium.
May, 30, who has previously pulled on the colours of the Crusaders and the Chiefs before moving to the Hurricanes last year, said it was nice to finally be credited with a try.
"Yeah, I actually scored one [before]," May said. "It was a drive for the Chiefs and it never got put down as my name and I'm sure Nathan White might have claimed it, but we'll go with the first one. Sixty-odd games, first try, it's good stuff."
May sold himself slightly short there as last night's game was his 55th Super Rugby outing.
Props aren't known for crossing the chalk too often and May said he would need to see a few replays before he tried to re-tell the tale of how it came about.
"To be fair, I can't even remember it. I was still in the changing sheds, then she was all go, so I don't know, I'll have to have a look at it."
May's effort, which saw him crash through a couple of tackles on his way to the line, set the Hurricanes in motion for a dominant first-half performance where they secured the four-try bonus point. Skipper Conrad Smith, halfback TJ Perenara and veteran lock Jeremy Thrush also found their way to the line, while Beauden Barrett added more points with his accurate goal-kicking.
With the game seemingly locked away at 29-16 at the break, the Hurricanes began the second half poorly as they fumbled their way through the final 40 minutes. They gave away too many penalties and tried to force too many plays, although Brad Shields and Alapati Leiua also added tries.
The Hurricanes had the bye last weekend and that may have stunted their momentum, May said.
"I think after bye week we probably looked to come out firing and it was probably over-eagerness with the penalties. With the dropped balls, maybe we were trying stuff too early. We needed to be a little bit more direct for longer periods," May said. "I think we were probably trying to push that wide channel too early, so just a bit more patience."
May said they didn't take the Kings lightly despite their infancy as a franchise and poor record.
"We don't read too much into that sort of thing. We knew the Kings would be tough. They're getting tougher every week. They're not a bad side, so they're just young and inexperienced. They're quite physical and they've got good D-systems so we knew we had to be direct and we probably weren't. We started direct and then we let that slip, so it's disappointing - but we definitely knew they'd come to play."
After dropping their opening two games, the win was the Hurricanes' third on the bounce and they will now host the Waratahs in Wellington on Saturday. For the Kings, it marked their fourth straight loss and although they play with plenty of intent, the execution simply isn't there for the newcomers.
Hurricanes 46 (B. May, C. Smith, TJ Perenara, J. Thrush, B. Shields, A. Leiua tries; B. Barrett 5 cons, 2 pens) Southern Kings 30 (S. Sykes, R. Cooke, H. Franklin tries; D. Catrakilis 2 cons, 3 pens, G. Whitehead con) Halftime: 29-16.