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Super Rugby: Hurricanes end eight-match losing run after beating Cheetahs
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The Hurricanes ended their eight-match Super Rugby losing streak with a crushing 60-27 win over the Cheetahs on Saturday.
The home side were without a win since May 11 last year but two tries and 23 points from fly-half Beauden Barrett led them to victory with Dane Coles, Chris Smylie, James Marshall, Jeremy Thrush, Matt Proctor, Conrad Smith and Alapati Leiua also crossing.
Willie le Roux, Philip van der Walt and Francois Uys scored tries for the South Africans with Johan Goosen booting 12 points.
It was Barrett who opened the scoring in the fifth minute as he took a kick ahead from wing Raymond Rhule at point blank range just inside his own 22 and marked the ball.
A quick tap followed and he hoofed the ball downfield and set off after it. His opposite number Goosen fielded the ball and took Barrett on only to be caught. The ball was cleared by Smith and was moved to the right.
After two rucks the ball was shifted to the short side where quick hands through wings Julian Savea and Leiua got the ball to Coles who scored.
Two minutes later the Cheetahs demonstrated their own intent when Le Roux joined the backline and threw a pass to centre Johann Sadie who returned the ball inside to the full-back who raced under the posts.
While the Cheetahs got out to a 13-7 lead courtesy of two penalties from Goosen, the brilliance of Barrett in the 18th minute made up for a missed Hurricanes try moments earlier following a blindside break by Smylie which created a chance only for Savea to lose the ball in the tackle.
Raced away for a try
But an attempted clearance from the Cheetahs was brought back downfield by the home side and Barrett dropped the ball onto his left foot to get through the defence. He raced forward to claim the bounce and beat Le Roux to race away for the try.
Le Roux showed his own attacking skills in the 26th minute to provide an opening which Van der Walt raced onto and, courtesy of some slack Hurricanes tackling, turned it into a try.
The helter-skelter stuff continued when a superb pass from Leiua was picked up by Smylie who crossed for the try.
Just before half-time a backline foray by Julian Savea carried play deep into the Cheetahs half. The ball was moved to the short side and quick hands allowed Smith to feed full-back Marshall down the wing for the bonus point.
The Cheetahs appeared to be hard done by the sin-binning of Le Roux early in the second half when he appeared to make a legitimate attempt at an intercept only to be penalised for a deliberate knock-down.
In the next Hurricanes incursion into the line Barrett broke through with ease to score as the home side pulled away.
Some inter-play between the Savea brothers followed after Julian kept the ball in play and flicked a pass to Ardie who then returned it. Julian sprinted down field and, in a linking movement, it was Smylie who took the ball to the line and in the resulting ruck the ball came to Thrush who drove over.
The Cheetahs came back with a driving lineout maul producing a try for Uys.
But any hopes of a late Cheetahs comeback were extinguished when replacement wing Proctor crossed in the 60th minute while Smith, making his 100th Super Rugby appearance, scored the penultimate try with Leiua taking advantage of the 20th turnover by the Cheetahs and scoring the last.
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|Friday 6th March|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|17:10||Bulls vs Crusaders|
|Friday 6th March|
|Chiefs 17 - 20 Highlanders|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com