Hurricanes 43-6 Western Force: Record win as New Zealand dominance continues

By Sports Desk May 28, 2021

The Hurricanes earned a third consecutive bonus-point victory as they thrashed Western Force 43-6 on Friday in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Teams from New Zealand now hold an 11-0 record over their Australian counterparts after the rampant Hurricanes ran in seven tries without reply in a one-sided encounter.

It was their biggest ever win over Western Force, who have suffered three consecutive defeats to start the competition.

The Force opened up an early six-point lead with two Domingo Miotti penalties, but they were obliterated from there.

Asafo Aumua capitalised on a lineout mistake from fellow hooker Andrew Ready to score an impressive solo try.

That opened the floodgates as wing Salesi Rayasi scored in acrobatic fashion and it was 19-6 at the break after Du'Plessis Kirifi dotted down.

It was game over as the hosts secured a bonus point seven minutes after the interval when Wes Goosen, who was constantly threatening, went over in the corner.

Rayasi added his second try of the match and a miserable day for the struggling Force was compounded in the last 10 minutes.

They saw a potential try ruled out due to an obstruction call before Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett - who finished with 13 points - added gloss to the scoreline at the other end.

"I thought we had one of our better performances of the year," stand-in Hurricanes captain Reed Prinsep said.

"A more complete package in attack and defence. Those backs are pretty special talents. As a forward, when you see that happen, you're pretty proud."

Force skipper Kyle Godwin, meanwhile, rued mistakes from his side.

"We were our own worst enemies, the Hurricanes are a classy outfit and they pounced on our mistakes," he said.

"We didn't trust ourselves enough, we do have the attacking threats. We've got the Crusaders next so a lot to review and improve on. I felt like the boys went into their shells and we can't be doing that."

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    With a 36-13 defeat of the Pumas in Brisbane – their ninth consecutive Test win – New Zealand leapfrogged South Africa at the summit.

    Foster's side also moved 10 points clear at the top of the Rugby Championship table and could wrap up the title even with a defeat against the Springboks next time out – if the All Blacks secure a losing bonus or prevent their opponents earning a try bonus.

    But the opportunity to test themselves against the world champions is of greater interest in what will be the 100th Test meeting between the teams.

    Asked about New Zealand's number one ranking, Foster said: "My mindset is you've got to beat number one to be number one.

    "It's not on our mind at all. I'm not saying that to downplay it. We're about to play South Africa next week, we'll get excited about that.

    "We're more interested in winning a Test match than where we sit [in the rankings].

    "If we focus too much on the other thing, we'll get tripped up and won't be there for very long, and that doesn't interest us either."

    Of the South Africa matches, he added: "We love playing Test matches, but we really love playing South Africa, probably because of the amount of respect we've got for them.

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    New Zealand pulled further clear at the top of the Rugby Championship standings and closed on the title with a 36-13 victory over Argentina in Brisbane.

    The All Blacks were as dominant in this nominal away Test as they had been in the previous clash last week, even if the scoreline was this time a little closer.

    Patrick Tuipulotu, TJ Perenara, Tupou Vaa'i (twice) and Samisoni Taukei'aho each contributed tries for a fourth bonus-point win from four to move Ian Foster's men 10 points clear of South Africa ahead of a double-header against the world champions.

    New Zealand had to wait only until the sixth minute for their opening try, as Will Jordan carried to the line after a break from Hoskins Sotutu, before Tuipulotu's power got the ball over.

    After Emiliano Boffelli's penalty ensured Argentina would not go scoreless for a third straight Test against the All Blacks, the Pumas were soon on the back foot again.

    New Zealand had a further three tries – for Jordan and Rieko Ioane twice – ruled out before half-time, but they were still able to successfully cross twice more, with Perenara stooping through following a scrum and pressure on the stroke of the interval producing a simple score for Vaa'i in the corner.

    A flowing move from left to right created space for Taukei'aho after the restart, although Boffelli's excellent stretching catch on the left then allowed him to get the ball grounded before he was taken into touch by a combination of Jordie Barrett and Jordan.

    That prompted an improved Argentina spell, yet the All Blacks countered effectively and Vaa'i was unmarked to complete the scoring.

    Will makes it work... eventually

    Jordan was influential in much of the All Blacks' best work, but he was also involved in two of their disallowed tries. The wing was just ahead of Taukei'aho before racing through to score and then played a forward pass of his own to Ioane following a superb take from Damian McKenzie's kick.

    Jordan got it right for the first try of the second half, however, unloading a superb ball to Taukei'aho.

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    The All Blacks have now won nine Tests on the bounce, last enjoying a longer run between August 2015 and October 2016 (18 wins), and the next one should be special – their 100th meeting with the Springboks.

    Anything less than a bonus-point South Africa win, with New Zealand failing to earn a losing bonus, would see last year's Tri-Nations champions crowned again.

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    Australia got the better of South Africa for the second week running as Len Ikitau and Marika Koroibete led the Wallabies to a 30-17 victory in the Rugby Championship.

    Having triumphed 28-26 over the Springboks on the Gold Coast last week, Australia came out on top again in Saturday's tussle in Brisbane.

    The victory takes Australia to within one point of the second-place Springboks on 10 points, who are five behind leaders and reigning champions New Zealand, who face Argentina in the later game.

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    Handre Pollard pulled the 'Boks to within two points with a long-range penalty, though Australia swiftly struck again, Ikitau once more finding the gap and this time Cooper hit his mark from the conversion.

    Pollard hit another two penalties either side of a Cooper three-pointer as, back to their full count, South Africa attempted to turn the screw, yet even with Lachlan Swinton seeing yellow (after initially being given a red card for a high tackle) the visitors could not prise Australia's defence open before the break.

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    Australia are now undefeated in their past seven men's Tests against South Africa on home soil (W6, D1), although Saturday is the first time they have won by a margin of seven points or more in that span. It is also the first time the Wallabies have earned back-to-back wins in men's international rugby since October 2019.

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    Heading into the match, South Africa had conceded just 13 points in the final quarters of games in the tournament, fewer than any other team. However, Australia had scored the most points (27) in the last 20 minutes, and they took that tally to 39 with their 12 points scored between the 62nd and 68th minutes, breaking the Springboks' resolve in the process.

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