Hurricanes run riot in NapierSave
By Shane Hurndell
Forty-two unanswered points in the second half saw the Hurricanes beat the Brumbies 56-21 in the Super Rugby clash at McLean Park, Napier, tonight.
As the score suggests, the Canes' third consecutive win at the venue was a spectacle which the 13,118 spectators would have been delighted with.
The Brumbies enjoyed the early possession and should have scored during the first two minutes after a break from fullback Aidan Touia. However the visitors lacked the necessary patience and accuracy.
The Canes opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a try to centre Vince Aso from broken play. Fullback Jordie Barrett slotted the conversion.
Canes winger and former Magpies fullback Cory Jane scored in the 14th minute after an accurate kick in the air to the corner from All Black first five-eighth and the world's 2016 player-of the-year Beauden Barrett. His brother again succeeded with the conversion.
Canes flanker Ardie Savea saved a try in the 20th minute when he won the chase to a kick ahead from the Brumbies. However, the visitors scored when centre Tevita Kuridrani dived over in the 23rd minute after a superb carry from prop Nic Mayhew.
Former Southland pivot Wharenui Hawera kicked the conversion. Clever options from halfback Joe Powell and sustained pressure from the Brumbies forwards saw captain and lock Sam Carter score and Hawera again added the extras.
Powell deserved his 28th minute try after the Brumbies took advantage of some loose Canes defensive work. Hawera's conversion had the visitors ahead 21-14.
The Hurricanes turned down a kick at goal in the 38th minute and went close to scoring after some phase play but stout Brumbies defence forced a turnover and the visitors deserved their halftime lead.
The hosts' scrum was dominant throughout the first half with Magpies loosehead prop Ben May inspirational.
Referee Brendon Pickerill sent Hawera to the sin bin in the 42nd minute for a professional foul.
The Canes capitalised five minutes later when Aso scored his second try after another clever kick from Beauden Barrett which No 8 Blade Thomson caught and passed to Aso. Jordie Barrett tied the game up with the conversion.
Aso had his hattrick in the 52nd minute after collecting a clever flat pass from Beauden Barrett. Jordie Barrett maintained his 100 per cent success rate with the conversion.
His hattrick must have brought back memories for former All Black and Hurricanes fullback Christian Cullen who was among the television commentators at the ground.
Cullen scored a hattrick in his All Blacks debut at McLean Park in 1996.
Substitute flanker Callum Gibbins gave the Canes a comfortable buffer when he scored off a charge down in the 61st minute. Jordie Barrett was again on target.
Four minutes later outgoing Magpies lock Mark Abbott dived over for his third try in two games. Jordie Barrett slotted the conversion from wide out.
Gibbins had his second try in the 73rd minute. Jordie Barrett was again successful with the conversion.
Another clever cross kick from Beauden Barrett saw second five-eighth Ngani Laumape score in the 77th minute. Substitute Otere Black slotted the conversion from wide out.
Blindside flanker Brad Shields was captaining the Canes for the first time in what was his 76th appearance for the hosts. Canes halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi made his first Super Rugby start after three previous appearances off the pine. He was replaced by All Black TJ Perenara in the 48th minute.
Scorers: Hurricanes 56 (Vince Aso 3, Cory Jane, Callum Gibbins 2, Mark Abbott, Ngani Laumape tries; Jordie Barrett 7, Otere Black cons) Brumbies 21 (Tevita Kuridrani, Sam Carter, Joe Powell tries; Wharenui Hawera 3 cons).
HT: Brumbies 21-14.