WATCH: Kini Naholo’s superb finish in Hurricanes’ victory over Waratahs
Hurricanes wing Kini Naholo caught the eye with a brilliant finish in his team’s 34-17 victory over the Waratahs in their Super Rugby Pacific encounter in Wellington on Friday.
The 23-year-old, who is the younger brother of former All Blacks and Highlanders flyer Waisake Naholo, was making his debut for the Hurricanes and had already crossed for a try earlier in the match.
However, he made an impact in the 55th minute when he gathered a pass from Josh Moorby just inside the Waratahs‘ 22. Naholo still had plenty of work to do but did brilliantly to shrug off a tackle from Michael Hooper before slipping past Waratahs captain Jake Gordon.
He then powered his way over the try-line despite the attentions of Mark Nawaqanitawase and Nemani Nadolo as the home side took control of proceedings.
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That score and Jordie Barrett‘s subsequent conversion gave the Hurricanes a 29-17 lead, and they sealed their victory when Dane Coles crossed for their fifth try in the 70th minute.
Earlier, the home side took a lead in the 13th-minute courtesy of a Barrett penalty, but from the resulting restart, Julian Savea dropped the ball, which allowed Nadolo to pounce and cross for the opening try.
Midway through the half, the Hurricanes struck back when Cam Roigard went over for a try which was converted by Barrett before Max Jorgensen scored a spectacular try to draw his side level at 10-10. Ben Donaldson slotted the resulting conversion before Naholo scored his first try, which Barrett converted to give the hosts a 17-12 lead at half-time.
The second half started brightly for the ‘Canes as Roigard scored his second five-pointer 10 minutes after the restart before Naholo left his stamp on the match with his outstanding try.
Langi Gleeson would score a consolation intercept try before the Hurricanes hammered their advantage home with Coles’ try in the game’s closing stages.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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