6 Jun 2011

Cruden, Nonu drive Hurricanes to comeback win over Lions

3:02 pm on 6 June 2011

The Hurricanes saw off South Africa's Lions 38-27 in a Super Rugby match in Wellington on Saturday that saw All Blacks World Cup hopeful Aaron Cruden strengthen his case with a 23-point haul, while Ma'a Nonu's renaissance continued.

First five Cruden kicked 18 points and scored the opening try, doing no harm to his bid to secure the back-up position to New Zealand No.10 Dan Carter, while second five Nonu scored one try and made two for fellow All Black Hosea Gear.

The Canes trailed John Mitchell's perennial strugglers 20-8 after 35 minutes before hitting back with a 30-point purple patch in the Wellington rain to avoid what would have been an embarrassing defeat, despite their playoff hopes having long disappeared.

All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu played almost the full game, getting 77 minutes under his belt as he continues his comeback from an ankle injury suffered in the provincial competition late last year that ruled him out of the end of season international tour.