New Zealand rugby fans clamoured for a rethink about cutting the Sunwolves from the Super Rugby competition. That was after they had narrowly lost to the Hurricanes, 23-29, last weekend.
On Friday the Highlanders dispelled any such (unofficial) talk with a hammering they dished out to the Sunwolves on their home turf, scoring 52 points including eight tries without conceding any after leading 33-0 at halftime.
♦ And back on their home turf in Wellington, the Hurricanes on Saturday struck form and showed what they are capable of with a 47-19 bonus point win in a match of excellent New Zealand running rugby with good support and handling under pressure features of their classy display.
The home side scored seven tries, losers Chiefs three in a pleasant match of real quality where Jordie Barrett did his World Cup chances a lot of good with a brilliant all-round game including good kicking in windy conditions.
The win firmly established the Hurricanes as the number two side in New Zealand behind the Crusaders, also on the combined standings.
Hurricanes (28) 47: Tries: Jordie Barrett (2), Kane Le’eaupepe, TJ Perenara, Wes Goosen, Ardie Savea, Salesi Rayasi. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (6)
Chiefs (12) 19: Tries: Luke Jacobson, Ataata Moeakiola, Lachlan Boshier. Conversions: Marty McKenzie (2).