The Hurricanes eased to a comfortable 56-21 victory over the Brumbies at McLean Park in Napier, making it seven wins from eight games.
Vince Aso collected a treble and Callum Gibbons scored a brace as the home team ran in nine tries to three over a hapless Aussies, who conceded 42 unanswered points in 33 second half minutes. Woeful.
Stephen Larkham’s side has now lost their last eight road matches in New Zealand and the coach will be disappointed that his charges, after fighting their way back into the game, surrendered so meekly.
Jordie Barrett kicked seven conversions for a match haul of 14 points but, it was his brother Beauden, who pulled the strings in a virtuoso performance and Man of the Match.
The All Black first five-eighth is the standout player in world rugby. He dominated the game with multiple line breaks and five assists (three cross-kicks and two passes) in eight tries, as the Canes ran rampant.
If Beauden Barrett keeps this up, he might end up better than Dan Carter. He’s playing at a consistent enough level at Super Rugby and Tests to match early Dan and is already a World Champion.
The 25-year-old is instrumental in every important facet of play, in every game: he is the truth.
The Hurricanes raced to a 14-0 lead after Aso and Corey Jane crossed the whitewash; Beauden Barrett had a hand in both scores.
The first, putting Aso away for a 50-metre try after taking out three defenders with a cross-field run near halfway.
The second, after his pin-point cross-field kick to Jane; the winger beat Aiden Toua in the air for his 31st Super Rugby try.
However, the visitors hit back with three tries in seven minutes. On 22 minutes, from an attacking lineout, Scott Fardy collected and set up a drive. Joe Powell broke in-field and popped to Nic Mayhew, on the charge.
The big man brushed Jane aside and offloaded to Tevita Kuridrani, who powered over. Moments later, Sam Carter crashed over and Hawera’s conversion levelled the scores.
Powell was next to score. From the restart, the Brumbies ran the length of the field, putting the ball through about a dozen hands before the scrum-half crossed the goal-line.
Starting on their goal-line, they went 95 metres – reminiscent of the Chiefs’ try against the Stormers at Newlands a couple of weeks ago – to take a seven-point lead into the break.
New Zealand sides are famous for their fitness and final quarter comebacks and, the question was: how long could the Brumbies hold on?
Not long. On 43 minutes, Hawera was yellow carded for cynical play near his try-line. Beauden Barrett collected a loose ball and sent a cross-kick.
The ball was caught by Blade Thomson on the sideline, who delivered to Aso. He broke Andrew Smith’s feeble tackle and ran clear to score. Jordie Barrett added his third conversion to level the scores at 21-all.
On 51 minutes, the Canes took the lead. Beauden Barrett, running a flat line – Ngani Laumape running the dummy angle, drawing in the defenders – put Aso through a huge gap and easy as you like, the wing had a hat-trick.
Hawera, back on, attempted a clearance inside his 22 but kicked the ball straight into Gibbons. The substitute got high off the ground deflected the kick and picked up the bouncing ball to score and the hosts had a 14-point cushion.
Hawera’s two errors had, effectively, cost his team 21 points. The Hurricanes did not stop there and ended the game as a contest, five minutes later.
Mark Abbott got in on the act. The Hurricanes went through some phases on the Brumbies’ try-line. TJ Perenara played a skip-pass to Abbott and he crashed through two defenders.
Jordie Barrett was having a day with the boot and, his sixth conversion made it 42-21.
The Brumbies’ heads dropped and it was a matter of how much more would the Kiwis score?
The answer was two more. The Hurricanes set up a lineout drive and powered toward the Brumbies’ goal-line.
The rolling maul drifted in-field and as the visitors fell off the maul for Gibbons’ second try of the night.
With four minutes remaining, Beauden Barrett produced another cross-kick. It was collected by Ngani Laumape near the touch-line and the centre ran away to score.
Otere Black, taking over from Jordie Barrett, kicked the conversion and the Hurricanes had put up fifty over their hapless opposition.
Final score: Hurricanes 56 (14) Brumbies 21 (21)
Tries – Aso (3), Jane, Gibbons (2), Abbott, Laumape
Con – J. Barrett (7), Black
Tries – Kuridrani, Carter, Powell
Con – Hawera (3)
Cards – Hawera (Yellow, 43rd minute)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Shane McDermott
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (captain), 5 Vaea Fifita, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Mike Kainga, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Otere Black, 23 Ben Lam.
15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.