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Lam inspired Hurricanes blow Rebels away

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The Hurricanes overcame a slow start but thrashed the Rebels 19-50 at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

Ben Lam scored four tries, equalling the Super Rugby record for tries in a match.

Lam joins 14 other players on that illustrious list and is the first Hurricanes player to do it.

The Hurricanes ran in seven tries to one with Beauden Barrett scoring 20 points, including a try.

Ngani Laumape and skipper Brad Shields also crossed the whitewash as the 2016 Champions put on a virtuoso display in Victoria.

The Hurricanes overturned an 11-point deficit, scoring 42 unanswered points since Matt Philip’s 30th-minute try made it 19-8 to the Rebels.

This was the largest victory on Australian soil by the Wellington team since thrashing the Reds 29-47 back in 1997.

This had shades of the Melbourne side’s 51-17 loss in Sydney to the Waratahs.

Dave Wessels’ men threw away a 17-point 38th-minute lead, conceding 38 unanswered points and they did it again.

Philip scored the only try for the home team and Jack Debreczeni kicked four penalties and a conversion for 14 points in the blowout loss.

Great start for the Melbourne Rebels.

The match did not go all the Kiwis’ way, however, they did take an early lead after Lam’s opening try.

The hosts kept within range thanks to Debreczeni’s boot.

The standoff kicked four penalties and converting Philip’s score as the Rebels took a surprising, but deserved 19-8 lead.

Amanaki Mafi was a colossus. The No 8 has been leading the tournament in run metres by a forward, averaging 72 metres per game.

He had 95 metres for 12 carries in the first half, but he did not return after the break because he failed a concussion protocol test.

Marika Koroibete, however, made no metres and his only impact was four tackles and a mistimed tackle attempt on Lam for the wing’s second try.

Mistake leads to floodgates opening.

Beauden Barrett’s high cross-kick caused havoc.

Debreczeni let the ball bounce and it wrong-footed the flyhalf. Koroibete’s misjudged tackle allowed Lam to get away for his second double in as many weeks. It would not be his last.

As with the loss to the Waratahs, the Rebels conceded before halftime.

After some pressure near the goal-line, Beauden Barrett’s subtle dummy sent to Rebels defenders one way and he ghosted through a big hole to score under the posts.

It was a lead they would not surrender.

Barrett kicked another penalty before Evans extended the lead with his side’s fourth try.

It came from a smart midfield move before the No 8 burst through four defenders to sprint away.

At 19-33, the game was slipping away. Mafi, Will Genia and Debreczeni had controlled the opening half-hour, but it was their counterparts who took over.

The link between Evans, TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett was marvellous.

Perenara’s kicking game was superb. Evans carried well, but his main role was at the breakdown, disrupting the home team’s loose trio.

Barrett’s handling and vision is second to none. His brother Jordie did not disappoint, either, and never does.

Laumape finished off a wonderful move, which included a between the legs pass by Jordie Barrett.

Last year’s joint top try scorer collected the ball from Shields, beat Maddocks and Genia for a 61st-minute try.

Billy Meakes was yellow carded for a cynical goal-line infringement and moments later, Lam had his hat-trick thanks to some quick thinking by Jamie Booth.

The clock was ticking down, but there was enough time for the Hurricanes to bring up their fifty.

Jordie Barrett’s back-flip pass to Wes Goosen set up Lam for the 110-kilogram winger’s fourth.

Final score: Rebels 19 (19) Hurricanes 50 (25)

Scorers

Rebels
Tries – Philip
Pen – Debreczeni (4)
Con – Debreczeni
Drop –
Cards – Meakes (Yellow, 66′)

Hurricanes
Tries – Lam (4), B. Barrett, Evans, Laumape
Pen – B. Barrett (3)
Con – B. Barrett (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Will Houston
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan

TMO: George Ayoub

Teams

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 (captain), 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

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