Hurricanes' second-half blitz too much for Brumbies
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Hurricanes produced a second half of epic proportions to beat the Brumbies 56-21 in Napier on Friday.
The Brumbies, coming back from being 0-14 down, took a 21-14 lead into the half-time break.
The visitors would have had real hopes of an upset.
However, the second half was classic Hurricanes - as they scored six tries (to go with the two they scored in the first half) and 42 unanswered points.
It included a hat-trick of tries for centre Vince Aso, putting him on a competition-leading 10 for the season.
All Black coach Steve Hansen was in the stands to run his eye over the Hurricanes ahead of the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour.
"There are so many guys putting their hands up it's great," he said ahead of the match.
Hansen would have been happy as Beauden Barrett set up two tries, first intercepting a stray pass and releasing Aso to waltz through the Brumbies' defence from deep within his own half.
Barrett's chip kick then found Cory Jane on the wing, while his brother Jordie pressed his All Black claims with seven conversions in the match.
But Hansen's demeanour may have been less sunny when the Hurricanes were found wanting under pressure from the Brumbies' line-out and the hard running Henry Speight.
Tevita Kuridrani, Sam Carter and Joe Powell all crossed the line as the Brumbies stormed back with three tries in seven minutes.
Powell's try, in particular, resulted from a superb team effort, when the ball went through 12 pairs of hands and travelled the length of the field to send them into the break up 21-14.
The Brumbies revival faltered when Wharenui Hawera was sin-binned soon after the restart, with Aso making the most of the advantage to score two tries.
Flank Callum Gibbins put the result beyond doubt with another after charging down a loose kick then Mark Abbott made it 42-21 after 65 minutes.
The Hurricanes continued to flay the tiring Brumbies, adding another three tries, including a second for Gibbins.
The result means Australian Super Rugby teams' record against New Zealand opposition this season is 13-0.
The losing sequence extends to 18 when matches from last season are included, with Waratahs' Round 14 win over Chiefs in May 2016 the last Australian success.
Man of the match: You can look at Vince Aso and his hat-trick, or Jordie Barrett for his general play and superb goal-kicking. However, our award goes to the Hurricanes and All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett - the creator of so much that is good for the Canes
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Aso 3, Jane, Gibbins 2, Abbott, Laumape
Cons: J Barrett 7, Black
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Kuridrani, Carter, Powell
Cons: Hawera 3
Yellow card: Wharenui Hawera (Brumbies, 42 - cynical foul, kicking the ball while being on the ground)
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Otere Black, 23 Ben Lam.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Angus Mabey (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)