Hurricanes crush Brumbies in Napier

The Hurricanes have put the Brumbies to the sword with a convincing 56-21 Super Rugby win in Napier.

After trailing 21-14 at the break, the defending champions piled on six unanswered second-half tries on Friday night to shoot to the top of the table in devastating fashion.

Centre Vince Aso bagged a hat-trick, including two in six minutes early in the second half to blow the game open, while Callum Gibbins collected a double at McLean Park.

Boasting the best defence in the competition heading in to the match, the Brumbies simply had no answer after the break as Beauden Barrett delivered an attacking mastersclass.

The reigning world player of the year had a hand or foot in most of the Hurricanes' five-pointers, while his brother Jordie Barrett was flawless with the boot, landing seven from seven conversion attempts.

As they did three weeks ago against the NSW Waratahs, the Hurricanes raced out of the blocks with two tries in the opening 12 minutes to charge ahead 14-0.

But the Brumbies replied to the twin strikes from Aso and Corey Jane with a blitz of their own to raise hopes of a rare Australian triumph over New Zealand opposition.

Starving the Hurricanes of possession for 10 straight minutes, the Brumbies crossed for three quickfire tries - including the most spectacular team effort of the season finished off by halfback Joe Powell - to seemingly turn the game on its head.

The brief revival began in the 23rd minute when, from a Brumbies lineout win, Powell's inside ball to Nick Mayhew put the prop away before he in turn found Tevita Kuridrani in support to score.

Then skipper Sam Carter forced his way over from close range before Powell completed a scintillating, near-length-of-the-field try from the kick-off that featured a dozen sets of hands.

With five-eighth Wharenui Hawera slotting all three conversions, suddenly the Brumbies led by seven points on the half hour.

They took the advantage to the interval - before the Hurricanes cut loose upon the resumption, collecting more than a point a minute to extend the trans-Tasman domination in 2017 to 13 wins from as many outings for Kiwi outfits against Australian line-ups.


Photo: PHOTOSPORT Vince Aso in action on Friday