Stormers edge tight contest with Hurricanes

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 21:35 26/04/2013
Tim Bateman
Getty Images
Tim Bateman of the Hurricanes is double tackled by the Stormers defence during the clash in Palmerston North.

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Manawatu did the Hurricanes franchise proud with an estimated crowd of close to 10,000 for tonight's rugby match against the Stormers, however, it wasn't quite enough to see the home franchise win through.

The Stormers won 18-16, both sides scoring two tries, claiming only their fourth win of the season.

The north-westerly wind played a major part, especially with the Hurricanes desperate to score into the wind the second half.

The match took a half hour to ignite in the first spell when Stormers flanker Michael Rhodes burst over from a maul soon after Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush had been sinbinned.

The Hurricanes' reply came on the stroke of halftime when first-five Beauden Barrett put debut wing Matt Proctor outside Springbok Gio Aplon, only for Barrett's conversion to be charged down. That turned out to be crucial.

However, Aplon got his own back in the 63rd minute when he shot over from a scrum for the Stormers' second try. 
Before that the Hurricanes had put the ball through a huge number of phases when flanker Brad Shields' overhead pass found former Manawatu man Andre Taylor. 

His try took the Canes to a 16-13 lead but it lasted for only five minutes.

Scorers: Stormers 18 (Michael Rhodes, Gio Aplon, tries; Joe Pietersen con, 2 pen)  Hurricanes 16 (Matt Proctor, Andre Taylor, tries; Beauden Barrett 2 pen)  HT 7-11.

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- Fairfax Media

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