The Hurricanes were in brilliant try-scoring form putting eight past the Brumbies in a 56-7 romp.
The Brumbies shocked the home crowd to silence with their early strike, prop Ben Alexander barreling over from close range. But after a few stuttering attacks, the Hurricanes machine got going. The hosts scored 25 unanswered points in the first half, wrapping up the four-try bonus after just 30 minutes.
Ma’a Nonu erred in the build up to the first score, but some fantastic finishing by Cory Jane earned the Canes the lead. Conrad Smith was rewarded for his robust contributions when he darted over for a good try, while midfield partner Nonu steamrolled Stirling Mortlock before setting Tamati Ellison up for the Canes’ third.
Conrad Smith was involved again in the making of the fourth, breaking down the blindside and setting up namesake David Smith. The elusive winger showed a good range of skills when he chipped and regathered to complete the try.
Willie Ripia battled with the boot early on, but it hardly mattered. The Canes were in rampant mood and had the momentum, their forwards firing at the breakdown and allowing the backs quality possession. The Brumbies defended manfully initially, but even their well-organised line had to relent after a repeated assault.
The home team took a while to score in the second stanza, but this was due to the finishing rather than intent. Nonu continued to break tackles regularly, the forwards continued to lay the platform and replacements like Piri Weepu ensured the lively pace was maintained.
A well-weighted Weepu grubber was chased down by Ripia and Faifili Levave, and this time the kick did result in a try. The Brumbies tried to clean up but were again second-best at the point of contact. At 35-7, the game was more than a sound defeat, it was an outright hiding.
The dominance of territory and possession continued into the final quarter, the probe for field position and fierce contest at the breakdown proving an unbeatable combination. Zac Guildford and Victor Vito got on the scoreboard in the final minutes, Guildford’s second taking the Canes past 50.
By Jon Cardinelli