Two tries for Jonah Lowe as Canes beat Blues in preseason match04.02.2017
Two first half tries to young centre Jonah Lowe and a late match winner to prop Chris Eves have punctuated the Hurricanes 38-33 win over the Blues in their first preseason match of 2017 at Alexandra Park in Auckland.
The Hurricanes outscored the Blues six tries to five on a scorching hot afternoon that saw four 25 minute quarters provide both coaches with the opportunity to give a large number of their extended squad valuable game time.
Lowe (2), halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, second five Ngani Laumape, and props Jeffery To'omaga-Allen and Eves were the visitor's try scorers on the day.
Fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder completed a successful return from injury with 50 minutes in the No 15 jersey before being replaced by new Hurricane Jordie Barret for the second half.
Hurricanes head coach will be pleased there were no immediate injury concerns for his squad after the match.
The Blues had come out firing with two early tries to second five Michael Collins giving them a 14-0 lead before Lowe put his team on the board by slicing through in the midfield.
His Hawke's Bay teammate Tiaan Falcon added the extras for what proved to be a sign of things to come as both sides traded blows throughout the match.
Hauiti-Parapara snuck over after a lineout drive before the break, but the Blues led 21-12 at halftime, and 26-12 when former Wellington wing Ambrose Curtis scooted away from long range shortly after the resumption.
However, the Hurricanes hit their straps in the third quarter with Lowe, Laumape and To'omaga-Allen all crossing in the space of less than ten minutes to open up a 31-26 lead.
Blues centre Pasqualle Dunn grabbed back the lead for his team with ten minutes to play with Piers Francis' conversion putting the home side up 33-31.
The Hurricanes upped the ante in the final minutes and when Eves saw space ten metres out he charged through some tired defence to seal the result, fullback Jordie Barrett adding the conversion from a handy angle.
The Hurricanes will now re-focus on the Brisbane Global Tens next week before completing their Investec Super Rugby preseason campaign with a match against the Crusaders in Waverley on February 17.
At Alexandra Park, Auckland:
Hurricanes 38 (Jonah Lowe (2), Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Ngani Laumape, Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, Chris Eves tries, Tiaan Falcon con, Otere Black 2 con, Jordie Barrett con) Blues 33 (Michael Collins 2, Piers Francis, Ambrose Curtis, Pasqualle Dunn tries, Ihaia West 3 cons, Francis con). HT: 21-12 (Blues)