A Hurricanes Under-20 selection has recovered from a sluggish start to thrash the Blues 38-13 at Owen Delany Park in Taupo this afternoon.
Initially the Hurricanes struggled. They were overwhelmed by a bigger Blues pack at scrum time and surrendered early lineouts. The Blues were rewarded with the first try from a lineout drive.
Once the Hurricanes acquired some ball and discovered their structures they proved too classy for the Blues. The Hurricanes led 21-13 at halftime and scored several tries in a resounding victory.
First half tries were scored by prop Vince Sakaria, midfielder Vince Aso and halfback Jamie Booth.
First five-eighth Otere Black kicked an early second half penalty, before prop Morgan Poi crashed over for a seven pointer. Lock Sanailia Waqa scored another converted try.
Several Hurricanes players had good games.
Standouts were halfback Booth whose fast pass and sprightly running caused problems until he left the field with an ankle injury. He was replaced by Manawatu’s Sam Malcolm who performed solidly.
Wellington hooker Leni Apisai captained the team and was strong around the park
Hawke’s Bay’s Nick Biss was incisive from fullback. Manawatu’s Otere Black was outstanding from the first five-eighth position, kicking all five conversions and a penalty and being tactically sound.
Nathan Tweedy from the Manawatu, out of St. Peter’s in Cambridge last year, was strong at openside flanker. He won several turnovers and was strong with ball in hand.
This fixture was an inaugural Hurricanes-Blues U20s match, in the 20th season of Super Rugby.
As part of the build-up for the 2015 U20 World Cup in Italy, a New Zealand U20 Squad will be selected on 23 March to go to Australia a series of matches.
U20’s get up over the Blues – Hurricanes Report
The first ever under-20 side to wear the Hurricanes colours have done the club proud in Taupo today.
The side beat the Blues 38-13 at Owen Delany Park, after leading 21-13 at half time.
Coach Darren Larsen said it was a tough battle, but he was thrilled with the way the boys performed as a unit, despite only being together for 24 hours.
“We actually got behind very early on and had no ball for the first ten or so minutes.
“We then got our defence going and I was really impressed with the way the boys wanted to work for each other. We were able to create some turnovers and took our opportunities from that.”
Larsen said although the Hurricanes scored five tries, they had to work extremely hard to get them.
“We were forced to make a huge amount of tackles. I’m not sure what the stats were, but I’d say we were definitely down on possession for the match, so we’re very happy with the end result.”
Larsen said captain Leni Apisai led the team well, while fellow Hurricanes Otere Black, Vince Aso and training group member Jamie Booth all shone throughout the match.
Nine of the Hurricanes team will attend the New Zealand Under-20 camp next week, while the remainder will be hoping to gain selection for the Hurricanes Development team. That side will have their first challenge for the season against the Crusader Knights at Porirua Park, next Thursday, March 5, kick-off 3pm.
Scorers: Vince Sakaria, Morgan Poi, Sanaila Waqa, Vince Aso, Jamie Booth tries; Otere Black 5 conversions, 1 penalty.