x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Gear keeps Hurricanes up to speed

Hosea Gear inspires a thrilling fightback for the Wellington Hurricanes as the home side kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 44-21 victory over the Queensland Reds.

Hosea Gear inspired a thrilling fightback for the Wellington Hurricanes as the home side kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 44-21 victory over the Queensland Reds yesterday. The 26-year-old winger initiated Wellington's rally after an early Reds onslaught when he touched down after the first-half siren, before adding a brace of tries in 12 second-half minutes as the Hurricanes amassed 31 unanswered points after the break.

After racing to a 21-8 lead, the Reds' second-half capitulation dropped them out of the top four and left their post-season hopes out of their hands with one round remaining. The Hurricanes notched a fourth win in a row to move into third place prior to the weekend's other fixtures. "I think that the 40 minutes we played in the second half really summed up what we talked about at half-time," Hurricanes captain Andrew Hore said in a televised interview.

Gear combined beautifully with Cory Jane early, receiving a quick pass out of the ruck then feeding his fellow winger for the Hurricanes' first try. Jane then repaid the favour after the half-time siren, setting up Gear for his first after the Reds had scored three unanswered tries through flanker Scott Higginbotham, winger Rod Davies and outside centre Will Chambers. The Reds' last try, inspired by a brilliant dribbled kick by fly-half Quade Cooper, proved the last of the team's highlights, as the Hurricanes' defensive pressure shut down their forwards.

Flanker Andrew Shaw was sin-binned for lifting a player in a tackle immediately after the break. The Hurricanes took full advantage with two converted tries, with Tamati Ellison crossing the line a few minutes after Gear's second. Gear crossed for his third less than 10 minutes later, before reserve David Smith jogged over for the easiest of tries to extend the lead to 42-21 six minutes before time.

* AFP