Sat, Apr 03, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Dan Carter misses chance to snuff rugby’s Hurricanes

AFP AND REUTERS , WELLINGTON

All Black Dan Carter missed a conversion kick after the siren to leave the Canterbury Crusaders with a 26-26 draw against the Wellington Hurricanes yesterday.

Flyhalf Carter’s kick shaved the left post after the referee awarded a controversial try to hooker Ti’i Paulo that tied the scores in the 85th minute after a tense television review.

The Hurricanes, who battled back from an 18 point deficit in the first half, were left stunned, having carved out a five-point lead only to have it snatched away from them.

“I suppose we secured one extra point,” Canterbury captain Richie McCaw said in a televised interview. “It was a typical game of two halves. We started off pretty well, but the Hurricanes were desperate, they played all the rugby in the second half and we only just hung in there.”

It was a bitter-sweet evening for Carter, who joined former Australia captain Stirling Mortlock as the second player to surpass 1,000 Super rugby points after slotting a penalty goal early in the first half to give the Crusaders an 8-0 lead.

Carter kicked three out of four penalty goals on a gusty night at Westpac Stadium, but missed his first and last conversion chances.

Canterbury retained its grip on second place in the standings, but the draw left the Hurricanes, who had lost their previous four matches, all but out of the semi-final race.

Robbie Fruean had a hand in Canterbury’s early ascendancy, punching a hole in the defense in the opening minutes to set up a chain of passes that ended with flanker George Whitelock barging over the line on the right.

The outside center then fed Zac Guildford after a quick pass from off the field to allow the winger to scamper over the line for the easiest of tries.

After being kept scoreless for nearly half an hour, inside center Ma’a Nonu broke the drought for the Hurricanes, evading two tacklers and side-stepping a third.

Meanwhile, Western Force downed the Western Sotrmers 16-15 yesterday.

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