Hurricanes get Super Rugby title defence back on track with 41-15 win over Highlanders
By AP Sport
Last Updated: 18/03/17 2:19pm
Centre Ngani Laumape scored two tries as the Hurricanes put the defence of their Super Rugby title back on track with a 41-15 win over the Highlanders on Saturday.
After last weekend's 26-18 loss to the Chiefs, the Wellington-based Hurricanes needed a home win to stay in touch with the leaders in the New Zealand conference.
They achieved it by scoring seven tries, though they had to work hard against a Highlanders team missing at least 12 players through injury.
The Hurricanes trailed briefly 8-5 in the first half and led only 10-8 at half-time, but scored five tries in the second spell to claim a bonus point.
The Hurricanes scored first through back-rower Ardie Savea but a try to replacement centre Matt Faddes gave the Highlanders the lead.
Jordie Barrett produced two brilliant pieces of skill either side of half-time to create tries and set the Hurricanes on course. Firstly, he put in a pin-point cross-kick which led to Laumape's first try in the 35th minute, then a behind-the-back pass that created a try for centre Matt Procter.
Elliot Dixon scored a try for the Highlanders which cut the lead to 17-15 after 44 minutes but from then on it was one-way traffic as the Highlanders' defence weakened.
Laumape scored his second try in the 50th minute, winger Julian Savea scored another in the 62nd minute then Vince Aso finished with a late double.