It wasn’t without a bit of hard work, however, with the Manawatu Turbos holding the Super Rugby team to just a 14-7 win in their second match of the evening.
The home side started with a hiss and a roar in the final 40-minute match of the night, scoring first through a try to number eight, Antonio Kiri Kiri. Converted by Jade Te Rure, the Turbos led the Hurricanes 7-0 for the first half of the match.
The Manawatu defence, and some simple handling errors, kept the Hurricanes scoreless until the 22nd minute when replacement wing, Tamati Samuels, broke through to score under the posts in what was his first match for the side.
Playing out of the Petone club, the former Hurricanes Schools and development player came into the squad earlier this week for an injured Nehe Milner-Skudder. Marty Banks converted the Samuels try to make it 7-7.
Unfortunately, Samuels was taken off soon after with an injury, forcing the Hurricanes to place flanker Ardie Savea on the wing. Not long after being summonsed to the sideline, Savea made a blistering run down the chalk, fended off Fijian Osea Rokubu, and threw an inside ball to Hadleigh Parkes who cruised over the line. Banks converted to make it 14-7.
Despite a last-ditch effort by the home side to regather a kick-and-chase in the dying seconds, they weren’t able to convert, leaving the Hurricanes with a 14-7 win.
In the earlier match, the Hurricanes were too strong for Hawke’s Bay, winning 38-0.
Left wing Cardiff Vaega started strong for the Hurricanes, collecting a Tim Bateman chip-kick to score the first points of the night.
Marty Banks then scored a double, converting both of his own tries, taking it to 19-0.
Towards the end of the match, Brad Shields made a strong run off the back of the scrum and offloaded to Ardie Savea who was in support and rewarded with a try.
Another five-pointer to Jeremy Thrush, who dragged about three Hawke’s Bay players across the line with him, and a final try to Chris Smylie rounded the match off at 38-0.
Banks and Vaega were in strong running form for the Hurricanes throughout the night, while Bateman and Smylie were also influential in the backline. Loose forwards Savea and Shields performed well, along with Reggie Goodes who staked his claim up front.
The Hurricanes next appearance will be at Westpac Stadium on June 28 when they take on the Crusaders in what is a must-win match for the Canes.