Hurricanes thump Australian conference leaders

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Friday, March 30, 2018    Getty Images

Despite the commanding score line, the first 30 minutes belonged to the Rebels as they charged to a 19-8 lead on the back of four Jack Debrecezeni penalties and a Matt Philip try.


It was a well-deserved lead for the Rebels as they played with great ball continuity and maximised all of their scoring opportunities. But a Ben Lam try and Beauden Barrett disallowed try in the opening ten minutes gave the feeling that the Hurricanes were in the mood to unleash their full attacking game at AAMI Stadium.

It was a mark of how good the Rebels had been in the opening stages that Hurricanes captain Brad Shields opted for a penalty in the 33rd minute to close the gap to 19-11.

It doesn’t matter who you are in Super Rugby, you cannot afford to let your guard down against the Hurricanes and two tries late in the half gave the Hurricanes a 19-25 lead at the break. In the blink of an eye, the Rebels had given up a handy advantage and the visitors took all of the momentum into the sheds.

Brad Shields wasn’t willing to take any chances against a Rebels side that had won four games out of five in 2018 to sit at the top of the Australian conference. A penalty in front of the posts was knocked over by Beauden Barrett to stretch the Hurricanes to a 19-28 lead.

The Rebels side that had looked so impressive in the opening 30 minutes was nowhere to be seen as the Hurricanes punched holes at will through the defensive line. No.8 Gareth Evans got in on the action by finishing off a TJ Perenara break before Ngani Laumape showed his power down the short side to make it 40-19 with 20 minutes to play.

The final 10 minutes belonged to Ben Lam as he scored two more tries to take his match tally to four. It is the most tries ever scored in a single match by a Hurricane and took the former All Blacks Sevens star to the top of the Super Rugby try scoring ladder with eight tries.

It was quite some statement from the Hurricanes who absorbed all of the Rebels pressure in the opening stages before laying on a clinic of running rugby.


Rebels 19 (Matthew Philip try, Jack Debreczeni 4 pen, con) Hurricanes 50 (Ben Lam 4, Ngani Laumape tries, Beauden Barrett, try, 3 pen, 3 con)
HT: 19-25