The Hurricanes U18s have beaten the Crusaders U18s 25-10.
In a curtain raiser to the senior contest at Westpac Stadium, the Hurricanes reversed a 10-8 deficit to win the fixture for the third year running.
It was a match which failed to soar to great heights with heavy dew making handling difficult and ambitious players trying too hard to make a favourable impression.
The Hurricanes scored the opening try after about 15 minutes when burly prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa from Petone FC muscled over after repeat phases.
The Crusaders responded a short time later by scoring their only try. Winger Leicester Faingaanuku galloped away after halfback Louie Chapman darted short-side and captured the Hurricanes short of numbers.
The Hurricanes employed a more direct approach in the second-spell and the Crusaders at times struggled to contain the host’s aggressive forward runners. Openside Josh Southall was a standout and scored two tries. The first was scored by attaching himself to the back of an unstoppable maul.
The second was an individual beauty which saw him push aside two players and dash 20-metres.
Both benches were emptied as the game petered out lamely. Other standouts for the Hurricanes included lock Taine Plumtree, No.8 Devan Flanders who grew in stature as the game progressed and reserve halfback Humphrey Sheild who injected obvious energy.
For the Crusaders, first-five Fergus Burke, lock Cullen Grace, centre Isaiah Punivai and Faingaanuku were the standouts.
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