Kobus van Wyk scored a hat-trick to help the Hurricanes to a 62-15 victory over the Sunwolves in Napier on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Following their heavy defeat by the Stormers at Newlands, the Hurricanes have now won their last three fixtures, including what could be a vital four points against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, somewhere teams tend not to taste victory that often.
However, Jason Leonard’s side now go into what could be a season-defining three New Zealand derbies against the Blues at home, before travelling to take on the Chiefs and Crusaders.
It was a sluggish start to the match for the home side, where the Sunwolves were able to take an initial lead thanks to a try from lock Michael Stolberg and penalty from Jumpei Ogura.
Once the Hurricanes hit back through a quick-fire brace through Van Wyk, they never looked back and were able to go over the line four times to head into the half-time break 28-10 up.
It was a particularly memorable match for the former Sharks wing, on debut after moving to Wellington at the end of last year, as he sealed his hat-trick in the second half.
Former Sharks wing Kobus van Wyk scored a hat-trick on debut for the @Hurricanesrugby. This was his first try against the Sunwolves.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) February 29, 2020
Fullback Chase Tiatia proved more than a capable stand-in for Jordie Barrett as he looked electric on attack, grabbing two first-half tries of his own and setting up Ben Lam for another.
Three further tries in the opening five minutes of the second half all but ended the game as a contest as the Sunwolves slumped to a second consecutive heavy loss.
Hurricanes – Tries: Chase Tiatia (2), Kobus van Wyk (3), Ben Lam, TJ Perenara, Gareth Evans, Ngani Laumape, Vince Aso. Conversions: Fletcher Smith (4), Tiatia.
Sunwolves – Try: Michael Stolberg, Siosaia Fifita. Conversion: Jumpei Ogura. Penalty: Ogura.
Hurricanes – 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Subs: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Ben May, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 James Marshall, 23 Peter Umaga-Jensen.
Sunwolves – 15 Alex Horan, 14 Siosaia Fifita, 13 Keisuke Moriya, 12 Shogo Nakano, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jake Schatz (c), 7 Mitch Jacobson, 6 Tevita Tupou, 5 Michael Stolberg, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Jarred Adams.
Subs: 16 Effie Ma’afu, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 JJ Englebrecht, 23 Tautalatasi Tasi.
Photo: Kerry Marshall/Getty Images