‘The Bus’ runs over Jaguares defence for another Wellington win
WELLINGTON – All Blacks winger Julian Savea marked his return to the Hurricanes lineup with a hat-trick of tries as the last year’s runners-up eased to a 40-22 bonus point win over Argentina’s Jaguares in Wellington on Saturday.
The bruising back known as ‘the Bus’ was a surprise absentee in their last outing, a win over the Kings, and showed what he can do by sliding in twice in the left hand corner just before halftime to flip the contest in the Hurricanes’ favour.
Flyhalf Beaden Barrett slid in for the opening Hurricanes score in the seventh minute but the Jaguares’ bulk and strong defence pushed them back into the contest.
Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savea, who had chipped through for Barrett’s opening try, was sent to the sin bin for dragging down a maul and Jaguares’ number eight Leonardo Senatore made the most of the extra space to wrestle over in the 22nd minute.
Ardie Savea returned after his 10 minutes on the sidelines but it was Jaguares who scored the next try as a looped pass by scrumhalf TJ Perenara was easily picked off by centre Matias Moroni, who sprinted 65 metres to score.
The Jaguares, who had lost four matches since winning on their Super Rugby debut, looked set to go in 12-7 ahead at the break but good work by Barrett created space for Julian Savea to cross in the 38th minute, with two Jaguares defenders dragged over the line.
There was still time for the re-start and a dart from Perenara followed with a kick ahead set Savea clear to slide over in the same corner with Barrett converting to send the hosts in 21-12 up.
Jaguares flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez slotted an early penalty in the second half to cut the lead to six points but the Argentines were guilty of dropping too many balls and turning over possession.
Hosts’ hooker Dan Coles made them pay in the 57th minute after stepping inside his man and darting in, while a massive shunt by the pack turned over a Jaguares scrum and a long pass found Julian Savea, who dived in for a third try shortly after.
The Jaguares scrumhalf Martin Landajo crossed for a try 10 minutes from time, but the Hurricanes grabbed the bonus point after replacement prop Ben May barrelled over after the buzzer to make it three straight 40-point wins. -Reuters