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Laumape hat-trick bewilders brittle Brumbies

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The Hurricanes outclassed the Brumbies 43-13 after a hat-trick from Ngani Laumape, the home town hero at the Palmerston North Showgrounds, Palmerston North.

Laumape, a powerhouse in the midfield, mixed brute force with finesse scored a magnificent treble on his return home.

Dane Coles also got in on the act, scoring a stunning first-half brace. His double combined opportunism, speed, skill and finishing that the great Hurricanes fullback Christian Cullen would have been proud.

This was a dominant display by John Plumtree’s men. They blew the Brumbies away after halftime in the ground where Super Rugby was born.

The Brumbies continue Australia’s dismal record in New Zealand. It is the country’s 38th defeat in the last 39 Super Rugby games between the Trans-Tasman rivals.

The home winning streak continues for the Canes

This was always going to be a tough away day for the Brumbies, especially with the Hurricanes formidable home record.

In that time, the Canes have only lost once and that was to the Chiefs back in 2017. It was always going to be a struggle for the Canberra outfit to get anything in New Zealand.

David Pocock returned to the team after yet another concussion. He must surely be on borrowed time. Beauden Barrett also made a return for the hosts.

It was an uphill battle from the start for Dan McKeller’s charges, after stealing an early lineout.

Hurricanes turn on the style

Coles, in the 12th minute, intercepted Rory Arnold’s knock on and sped away from the Aussie defenders, beating Allan Alaalatoa’s tackle from 12 metres out.

It was 14-nil within three minutes after another Hurricanes’ special. Chase Tiatia, who was a threat all game, offloaded an out-the-back-door pass to Vince Aso.

Video Highlights: Hurricanes versus Brumbies

Aso pulled out a no-look chicken wing back inside to Laumape. The second-five ran a precise angle before racing away to score under the posts.

The Brumbies were a mess. Yet somehow, they pulled themselves off the deck and hit the Canes with an unstoppable rolling maul and try by Folau Fainga’a.

Their lineout set-piece and driving maul, has become quickly become one of the competition’s best.

Pete Samu was causing a problem for John Plumtree’s men at the breakdown. Pocock also got in on the act, winning a penalty which Christian Lealiifano put through the middle of the posts.

The Australians were back in the contest. However, they could not make anything out of their counter-attacks or get into a position close to the goal line to use their lineout drive.

Beauden Barrett was pinning the visitors back with cheeky grubbers in behind their back three.

Despite all the territory, the Hurricanes’ discipline was letting them down, conceding seven penalties in half an hour.

Coles goes Hulk then Superman to open the gap

Once the hosts ironed out the penalty count, they hit the Brumbies with a moment of quality from TJ Perenara – who else? – and Coles

The scrumhalf, inside the opposition’s 22 after another strong Laumape run, dummied right before offloading to the hooker. Coles had shown speed – again – and deft play with a dummy, himself in the build-up.

His ferocious cleanout preceded his expert finish in the corner that a winger would be proud of.

It was a body blow for the Brumbies, and although Barrett missed the conversion, his early second-half penalty made it 22-8.

Du’Plessis Kirifi, named after former Springboks captain Morné du Plessis by his father, was taking control of the breakdown. Along with Ardie Savea and Vaea Fifita, they outnumbered Pocock.

Dan McKellar’s side was under the pump; they couldn’t get their hands on the ball or exit their half.

The Laumape show

Then, inside six scintillating minutes, Laumape took over and singlehandedly ended the game as a contest.

Laumape’s second was relatively straight-forward, all things considering.

The second-five collected another Perenara worldy and bashed over the try line, knocking Matt Lucas and Tom Banks out the way before dotting down.

His hat-trick came courtesy of a Lealiifano gift. The standoff threw a floated pass into the hands of Matt Proctor.

The outside centre was quick to react. He snaffled the ball and sent the midfield maestro away for a 60-metre score under the posts. Simply sensational.

Pocock was – harshly – sin-binned but it made no difference to the outcome.

Tom Wright crossed for his first Super Rugby try, but another Chance Peni error led to James Blackwell’s first, as well.

The lock gathered Peni’s loose pass before Wharenui Hawera could gather, and waltzed over to secure an emphatic bonus-point win.

Final Score: Hurricanes 43 (19) Brumbies 13 (8)

Scorers

Hurricanes
Tries – Coles (2), Laumape (3), Blackwell
Pen – B. Barrett
Con – B. Barrett (4), Garden-Bachop
Drop –
Cards –

Brumbies
Tries – Fainga’a, Wright
Pen – Lealiifano
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Pocock (Yellow, 63′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2: Nick Hogan
TMO: Aaron Paterson

Teams

Hurricanes: 15 Chase Tiatia, 14 Vince Aso, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Liam Mitchell, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Dane Coles (captain), 1 Chris Eves.

Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Wes Goosen

Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 David Pocock, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leauluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Tom Cusack, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Tom Wright

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