21 Apr 2014

Hammett pleased with Hurricanes' composure

6:31 am on 21 April 2014

The Hurricanes are in Super Rugby playoff contention thanks to Friday night's 39-20 bonus point defeat of the Blues in Wellington.

The Hurricanes outscored the visitors five tries to two for a comfortable bonus point victory, despite the home side trailing 17-13 at half-time.

Despite conceding a penalty try and losing the half-time lead as All Blacks hooker Dane Coles was sent to the sin bin, the Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett says his players showed composure.

He says the players were very connected with what was going on and managed to hang on while Coles was off.

The Samoan international Alapati Leiua crossed the line for the Hurricanes in the first half, followed by second half tries to Motu Matu'u and the All Blacks Julian Savea, TJ Perenara and Conrad Smith.

The winger George Moala was the only Blues player to cross the line before his team was awarded a penalty try on the stroke of half-time, when the Hurricanes collapsed a surging Blues' scrum. That resulted in All Blacks hooker Dane Coles being sent to the sin bin.

But the Canes hung on while Coles was off then scored four unanswered tries.

The loss has left the Blues stranded on the bottom of the New Zealand conference ladder and winless in their last 12 away games, their last win on the road coming in the same clash at the start of last season.

The Hurricanes move into second place in the local conference and fifth overall.

All Blacks second five Ma'a Nonu sat out the match with a tight calf, replaced in the Blues midfield by Jackson Willison.

But the Hurricanes are losing their fullback Andre Taylor, who's signed a two-year deal to play in Japan.