Laumape hat-trick relegates Brumbies to Kiwi loss

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A hat-trick from Hurricanes centre Ngani Laumape has relegated the Brumbies to a 43-13 loss on a night where Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano felt they couldn't ever really get going.

This was far from the near-seamless effort the Brumbies produced in Canberra last week, with turnovers and basic errors opened the door for a ruthless Hurricanes outfit benefitting from the return of playmaker Beauden Barrett on their home turf.

Victories across the ditch are that much harder to come by and the Hurricanes' victory was their 23rd from 24 at home, albeit playing a touch north of their usual Wellington Stadium, 14th of 15 against Australian opposition and the 38th win for a New Zealand team against Aussies in New Zealand in 39 matches.

The Brumbies continued to charge on with their attacking approach but two early turnovers lead directly to tries and they found themselves in a 14-point hole early on.

Trailing 19-8 at the break, the Brumbies still had a sniff but a dominant 24-5 second half from the HUrricanes snuffed out any chances for the visitors.

Their Kiwi opponents also had their issues with the ball but the Brumbies weren’t able to be as punishing in their response, unable to consistently push the Hurricanes into their defensive zone.

Dane Coles finished with two tries against the Brumbies. Photo: Getty ImagesA usually accurate defence was beaten by red-hot Laumape seven times with the Brumbies racking up 29 missed tackles overall.

Lealiifano said they had plenty of work to do before facing the Rebels in Melbourne in a week's time.

"I think the Hurricanes came hard at our breakdown there and it's something we'll look at and try and improve," he told SKY post-match.

"We just couldn't get our game going as well as we would've liked.

"We were still in the contest early there and just fell away in the end.

The Hurricanes were quick to play the territory game and starve the Brumbies of attack and their approach paid dividends.

Things were shaping up as a grind but it took just one fumble from Rory Arnold for Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles to snatch an intercept and storm his way to the line.

The speed of the game was tripping up both sides but it was the Brumbies who hurt the most as the Hurricanes punished their mistakes.

Centre Ngani Laumape scored just two minutes after Coles, with a Brumbies turnover setting up a break for the rampaging centre, who shook off a Chance Peni tackle attempt to score the Hurricanes’ second.

With the expansive efforts not quite sticking, the Brumbies took a chance to go to the corner and hooker Folau Faingaa went over almost immediately to finish off their monstrous maul.

Pete Samu made the most of his first Brumbies start, winning three turnovers before the half hour mark, only serving as a reminder of the depth the Canberra side has in loose forwards, all of whom had impressive nights.

Poor discipline from the Hurricanes allowed the Brumbies to mount more attack but it was a Haurricanes lineout that led to the next scoring opportunity, though a rampaging Dane Coles.

Coles made a handy break and threw a dummy before offloading to Laumape deep in attack.

Halfback TJ Perenara took the next recycle and passed back into Coles’ hands just inside touch for the hooker’s double.

The Brumbies back row worked hard but they couldn't overcome the Hurricanes in the end. Photo: Getty ImagesA penalty on the other side of half-time kept the Hurricanes ticking the scoreboard over, as the hosts built momentum.

Returning flanker David Pocock saved a near-certain Hurricanes try in the 49th minute but the pressure relief didn’t last long as the Kiwis continued their attacking barrage.

Another Laumape try followed and though Barrett’s conversion put the Hurricanes into bonus-point territory but the centre wasn’t done with his impact, though, swallowing an intercept from Christian Lealiifano in the 60th minute t oscore his third.

David Pocock was sent to the bin in the 63rd minute for an early tackle on TJ Perenara but by then it seemed like the wind was already out of the Brumbies sails.

Second-game back Tom Wright clinched a consolation try in the 73rd minute that looked like giving the Brumbies the final say but the Hurricanes kept the foot on the throat with lock James Blackwell scooping up one final Brumbies fumble in the 83rd minute.

The Brumbies have a chance to test their improvement when they take on the Rebels next weekend, after a narrow round one defeat to Melbourne, while the Hurricanes face the Highlanders.

RESULT

Hurricanes 43

Tries: Laumape 3 Coles 2, Blackwell

Cons: Barrett 4, Garden-Bachop

Pens: Barrett

Brumbies 13

Tries: Faingaa, Wright

Pens: Lealiifano

Yellow card: David Pocock (63’)