Lam stars as 'Canes punish Rebels
SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: Former All Blacks Sevens star Ben Lam scored four tries during the Hurricanes' 50-19 win over Melbourne Rebels at the AAMI Park on Friday.
The Hurricanes outscored the Rebels seven tries to one in this season's first trans-Tasman encounter.
The Hurricanes' win continued Australia's misery as they recorded their 11th straight win over Australian opposition, stretching New Zealand's winning run over Australian teams to 33 games stemming back to 2016.
Hurricanes posted 42 unanswered points with wing Ben Lam scoring four tries after trailing the Rebels 19-8 late in the first half.
It was the most points the Hurricanes have scored in a match in Australia.
It was a comprehensive win by the Hurricanes, who had the luxury of replacing their first-choice halves Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara with a quarter of the game left and the job well and truly done.
All Black flyhalf Barrett helped himself to a try, three conversions and three penalties for a match haul of 20 points
"I think the turning point of the game was the final seven minutes before half-time when we scored a couple of tries," Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields said.
"Momentum swings just like that but when we hold on to the ball and we're really patient we can score points and we showed in the second half what we're all about."
The opening exchanges were fairly even and Beauden Barrett and Jack Debreczeni traded early penalties which meant the sides were deadlocked at 3-3 by the fifth minute.
The visitors were first to cross the whitewash though when Lam gathered a pass from Jordie Barrett deep inside the Rebels' 22 before diving over in the left-hand corner.
Despite taking the lead with that try, the Hurricanes conceded too many unforced errors, especially on defense, and three further penalties from Debreczeni meant the Rebels were leading 12-8 before Matt Philip crossed for their only try, from close quarters for the 19-8 after 30 minutes of play.
However, with the home side gallivanting in their lead Hurricanes manufactured their comeback which saw them score 17 answered points in a space of 10 minutes for the 25-19 lead at the break.
In the second stanza, the Hurricanes continued their onslaught and kept the hosts scoreless. Five minutes into the half, Barrett added another penalty before Gareth Evans crossed for his first ever Super Rugby try.
Centre Ngani Laumape also got his name on the score-sheet.
Things went from bad to worse for the Rebels when Billy Meakes was yellow carded for a cynical defensive foul close to his try-line and with extra numbers, the Hurricanes were rewarded in the 70th minute when Lam crossed for his third try.
The flyer wasn't done though and just before full-time, he crossed for his fourth try after Jordie Barrett and Ihaia West did well in the build-up.
Man of the match: Was remarkable performance by Hurricanes, however, there was only one player who grabs the headlines and deserves this title for his impeccable finishes... that is Hurricanes wing, Ben Lam.
PEns: Debreczeni 4
Tries: Lam 4, B Barrett, Evans, Laumape
Cons: B Barrett 3
Pens: B Barrett 3
Yellow Card: Billy Meakes (Rebels, 66 - Cynical foul)
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Tom English, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Sam Henwood, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves.
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: William Houston (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
Source: @SanzarTRC & AFP