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Waratahs down Hurricanes in Wellington

The New South Wales Waratahs survived a fierce second half comeback to beat New Zealand's Wellington Hurricanes 26-22 in the Super 14.

WELLINGTON // The New South Wales Waratahs survived a fierce second half comeback to beat New Zealand's Wellington Hurricanes 26-22 in the Super 14. The Waratahs raced to a 19-0 lead inside the first 24 minutes after the fullback Sam Norton-Knight and the wingers Lote Tuqiri and Lachlan Turner all scored tries but ended the game defending deep inside their own half against a wave of Hurricane attacks.

"We did everything to lose the game after we got off to a good start," the Waratah's captain Phil Waugh said. "But the guys hung in there and it was a pretty good win in the end. "They put us under a lot of pressure, so it was a good start but it's only game one and there's plenty to go." The Hurricanes opened their account three minutes before halftime when the fly-half Daniel Kirkpatrick touched down to leave the home team trailling 19-5 at half time.

Wellington started to take control of the match in the second half and closed to within four points with 17 minutes still left on the clock when the hooker Dane Coles darted through a hole to score. NSW, Super 14 finalists last year, reasserted their grip on the match when the teenage centre Rob Horne scored 10 minutes from the end after a clever cross field kick from the fly-half Kurtley Beale, which gave the visitors an 11 point lead.

But the Hurricanes regathered the ball off their own kick off and put the All Blacks winger Hosea Gear in the corner to ensure a nail-biting finish. "It was a very frustrating game. We had enough possession but we couldn't convert," the Hurricanes skipper Rodney So'oialo said. "We made a lot of mistakes in this game but hopefully we can go back and fix those little problems. "We had a lot to say in the second half and obviously came out firing and dominated the second half."

*Reuters

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