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Magnificent Vince Aso hat-trick as the Hurricanes pile on the points against Cheetahs

Beauden Barrett’s goal-kicking was very assured looking as he lined out at fullback in this morning’s rout.

Source: All Blacks/YouTube

VINCE ASO LED a nine-try rout as the Wellington Hurricanes returned to winning form with a 61-7 victory over the Central Cheetahs in their Super Rugby clash in Wellington.

The bonus-point win lifted the defending champions up to second in the New Zealand conference, overtaking the Waikato Chiefs who lost to the front-running Canterbury Crusaders yesterday.

A week on from their tryless performance when also beaten the Crusaders, the defending champion Hurricanes rediscovered the route to the try-line led by Aso who touched down three times.

It was not champagne rugby in the first half with the ‘Canes scoring three tries to turn with a 21-7 lead, but they opened up after the break with a further six tries and 40 points.

Vince Aso celebrates his try with Julian Savead and Ardie Savea Vince Aso celebrates his try with team mates Julian Savead and Ardie Savea. Source: Photosport/Marty Melville/INPHO

They finished with a club record scoreline over the Cheetahs, easily exceeding the 60-27 win when they last met in Wellington two years ago.

The opening points came from a comedy of errors when the Hurricanes lost possession with an attacking scrum. But when Raymond Rhule tried to run the Cheetahs out of trouble he fired a wayward pass to Hurricanes lock Vaea Fifita who was able to canter over the line unopposed.

From the restart, the Hurricanes were much more assured when they immediately stormed back on attack for Aso to score his first try.

But from looking like championship contenders one minute, the Hurricanes just as quickly lost their composure as they opened a path for Fred Zeilinga to score the Cheetahs try.

It was not until just on half-time that Ardie Savea bagged the Hurricanes third try when he barrelled over from close range.


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Ardie Savea tackled by Johan Coetzee and Oupa Mohoje Ardie has a cut. Source: Photosport/Marty Melville/INPHO

The Cheetahs effort could not be faulted. They were prepared to attack from all areas and defended gallantly but they suffered from basic errors and did not help themselves at the start of the second half when Elandre Huggett received a yellow card.

While he was off the field the Hurricanes added 14 points with tries to Aso and TJ Perenara with Aso’s second ending a length of the field move sparked by his midfield partner Ngani Laumape.

Their double act featured again when another Laumape break and chip kick produced Aso’s third try.

Beauden Barrett lines up a kick at goal Source: Photosport/Marty Melville/INPHO

Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ben Lam and Leni Apisai also scored for the Hurricanes with Beauden Barrett (playing at fullback) landing five conversions and out-half Otere Black kicking three.

With the pressure on the New Zealand players to impress the All Blacks selectors ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour next month, Barrett took over the kicking duties for the Hurricanes and had a 100% record until he was replaced.

In doing so he proved a better marksman than the Chiefs’ Aaron Cruden who managed only one from three against the Crusaders before letting regular kicker Damian McKenzie take over.

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