Hurricanes 56-21 Brumbies: Hat-trick for Aso as Hurricanes flourish in second half
Last Updated: 21/04/17 2:52pm
A hat-trick of tries for centre Vince Aso helped defending Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes overcome a mid-game wobble to demolish the Brumbies 56-21 in Napier on Friday.
The Hurricanes scored eight tries to three in the bonus-point win, piling on 42 unanswered second-half points after trailing 14-21 at the break.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was in the stands to run his eye over the Hurricanes ahead of the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour.
"There's so many guys putting their hands up, it's great," he said ahead of the match.
Hansen would have been happy as Beauden Barrett set up two tries, first intercepting a stray pass and releasing Aso to waltz through the Brumbies' defence from deep within his own half.
Aso ended with three tries, putting him on a competition-leading 10 for the season. Barrett's chip kick then found Cory Jane on the wing, while his brother Jordie pressed his All Black claims with seven conversions in the match.
But Hansen's demeanour may have been less sunny when the Hurricanes were found wanting under pressure from the Brumbies' lineout and the hard-running Henry Speight.
Tevita Kuridrani, Sam Carter and Joe Powell all crossed the line as the Brumbies stormed back with three tries in seven minutes.
Powell's try in particular resulted from a superb team effort, when the ball went through 12 pairs of hands and travelled the length of the field to send them into the break 21-14 ahead.
The Brumbies revival faltered when Wharenui Hawera was sin-binned soon after the restart, with Aso making the most of the advantage to score two tries.
Flanker Callum Gibbins put the result beyond doubt with another try after charging down a loose kick, before Mark Abbott made it 42-21 after 65 minutes.
The Hurricanes continued to flay the tiring Brumbies, adding another three tries, including a second for Gibbins. The result means Australian Super Rugby teams' record against New Zealand opposition this season is 13-0.
The losing sequence extends to 18 when matches from last season are included, with the Waratahs' round 14 win over the Chiefs in May 2016 the last Australian success.