SPORTS

Mauger Rues Missed Chances

Highlanders coach, Aaron Mauger believes they did not make use of their chances which saw them go down 29-12 to Hurricances at the Westpac Stasium on Saturday night. “I thought
26 Mar 2018 10:17
Mauger Rues Missed Chances
Ben Lam of the Hurricanes scores a try in the tackle of Lima Sopoaga, Tevita Li and Waisake Naholo of the Highlanders during the Super Rugby clash at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand on March 24, 2018. Photo: Zimbio

Highlanders coach, Aaron Mauger believes they did not make use of their chances which saw them go down 29-12 to Hurricances at the Westpac Stasium on Saturday night.

“I thought the Hurricanes took their opportunities well,” he told Rugby Heaven.

“We knew it would come down to key moments and we didn’t take ours and they took theirs. I thought the three tries they scored were outstanding.”

For the record, it was four tries the Hurricanes mustered. The first by Beauden Barrett, after he pounced on a kick by Highlander’s Rob Thompson and scampered 60 metres.

But the three that will live in most people’s memory – including Mauger’s- came from Hurricanes wings Ben Lam and Vince Aso.

Lam’s first, in the 38th minute, came as a result of brute strength and great awareness. The second, in the 73rd minute, wasn’t dissimilar.

In between, Aso performed a minor miracle to touch down in the tackle of Highlanders fullback Ben Smith.

“I just felt I needed to jump, because I knew he was going to chop-tackle,” Aso said.

So with Aso already airborne and Smith then making solid contact, the wing really was flying. The trick then was to touch the ball down before going into touch.

“I just felt like I was going over on my legs, on my bum and I just felt like I needed to put my hand down,” said Aso.

“When I stood up I was pretty shocked and I was like ‘man, I don’t know if I scored or not’. Then I just saw a couple of boys run to me and [I] started celebrating with them.”

The Hurricanes were a reasonably content lot, after seeing off the Highlanders. Particularly given it was halfback TJ Perenara’s hundredth match for the franchise.

They lost flanker Ardie Savea to a first-half rib injury, while centre Matt Proctor’s sternum was iced up after the game.

“He’s got a bit of a tender rib or two. I don’t think there’s any cracks or breaks there, but he’s a bit sore,” Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said of Savea.

Proctor was described as sore too, ahead of Friday’s trip to meet the Rebels in Melbourne.

 

GLORIOUS DAUGUNU TRY IN VAIN

Reds prop Taniela Tupou is in hot water with a no-arms tackle certain to draw a ban. The powerful prop was cited after the 25-19 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town yesterday.

The worry is that the citing commissioner deemed the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play.

A gritty fightback from 18-0 down in Cape Town came up short for the Queensland Reds but it proved the team’s never-say-die attitude does travel under coach Brad Thorn

The Stormers were the superior side but a wonderful 95m try from Fijian winger Filipo Daugunu just 30 seconds from full-time created an unlikely chance for the Reds to steal the result.

“I’ve seen games when 18-0 down easily blow out but these guys just kept on competing,” coach Thorn told The Canberra Times.

“They’ve had a round-the-world trip (Buenos Aires-London-Cape Town) this week, a lot that wasn’t rosy out there and with all the challenges to get within that range of winning is a great effort.”

His 100th game for the Reds was not a victory yet captain James Slipper saw the broader positives of a team on the rise after four failed seasons.

“The boys really fought right to the end. We know we’ve got to keep improving and we are not at the level we want to be but from where we’ve been to where we are now, we’ve come a long way.”

 

RESULTS

Crusaders 33-14 Bulls, Sunwolves 10-61 Chiefs, Stormers 25-19 Reds, Rebels 46-14 Sharks, Hurricanes 29-12 Highlanders, Jaguares 49-35 Lions.

 

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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