Ngani Laumape scored three tries as the Hurricanes romped to a 43-13 bonus-point victory in Palmerston North on Friday.
The Hurricanes came into this match with a point to prove. They were poor in the round two clash against the Crusaders, and on another day may have conceded 50 rather than 38 points.
The senior men stood up in this fixture against the Brumbies. Dane Coles was a force around the park, and Beauden Barrett – in his first game of 2019 – controlled the contest well from the flyhalf position.
Coles and Laumape crossed the line to see the hosts leading 14-0 after 14 minutes. The Hurricanes allowed the Brumbies back into the game, though, when the visitors capitalised on some poor discipline and eventually scored via a well-executed lineout drive.
The Canes then regained control before half-time. Coles was prominent in the buildup to the team’s third try, popping up in the midfield and setting up his teammates for a wide break. The hooker was on hand to finish from the next phase, diving spectacularly to plant the ball down next to the corner post.
#SuperRugby – HALFTIME:
Hurricanes 19-8 Brumbies
Some slick play from the Hurricanes has seen the New Zealand side take an 1⃣1⃣ point lead going into the break against the Brumbies
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) March 1, 2019
The Hurricanes worked hard to build on their 19-8 half-time lead. Barrett slotted a penalty goal, and then another try by Laumape saw the hosts taking the game away from the Brumbies.
A wild pass by Christian Lealiifano was intercepted by Matt Proctor, who found his centre partner for the finish. Laumape, the Palmerston North local man, showed exceptional pace to beat the cover defence and secure his hat-trick.
The visitors looked to have suffered a further setback when David Pocock was shown a yellow card in the 62nd minute. They managed to score their second try during this period, however, and add some respectability to the final scoreline.
The Hurricanes had the final say, with lock James Blackwell racing away to score after the final hooter.
Hurricanes – Tries: Dane Coles (2), Ngani Laumape (3), James Blackwell. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (3), Jackson Garden-Bachop. Penalty: Barrett.
Brumbies – Tries: Folau Fainga’a, Tom Wright. Penalty: Christian Lealiifano.
Hurricanes – 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (c), 1 Chris Eves.
Subs: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Chance Peni , 10 Christian Lealiifano (c), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 David Pocock, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Tom Wright.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images