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Hurricanes thump Moana Pasifika to avenge for shock loss in eight-try rout

By Alex McLeod
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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The Hurricanes have avenged for their shock loss to Moana Pasifika two-and-a-half weeks ago by thumping them 53-12 in Wellington on Tuesday.

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The 41-point drubbing snaps a three-match losing streak and amends the surprise golden point extra-time defeat the Hurricanes suffered against the new expansion franchise in Auckland last month.

Running in eight tries to two, the hosts dominated from the outset at Sky Stadium in a match that was rescheduled as a result of Covid disruption earlier in the season.

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A searing break by wing Wes Goosen through the heart of the Moana Pasifika defence in the opening passage of play from the kick-off was indicative of what was to come throughout the match, with the Hurricanes scoring just minutes later via Alex Fidow.

Further first half tries to Goosen and Blake Gibson, as well as seven points from the boot of prodigious fullback Ruben Love, was enough to outscore the solitary try scored by Moana Pasifika lock Michael Curry in the opening stanza.

Ahead 22-5 at half-time, the Hurricanes ramped things up in the second half, with hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes, halfback TJ Perenara, prop Pasilio Tosi, captain Reed Prinsep and Gibson all dotting down to crack the half century for the home side.

The try was a special one for Kereru-Symes, who marked his debut with a try after being promoted into the starting lineup shortly before kick-off following the late withdrawal of James O’Reilly.

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Perenara, meanwhile, continued to close in on Israel Folau’s record for most tries in Super Rugby history, scoring his 58th try to leave him two tries shy of the former Wallabies star’s milestone.

Moana Pasifika managed one other try to flanker Alex McRobbie, but that proved to be merely be consolation as ill-discipline continued to plague Aaron Mauger’s side, who conceded 10 penalties to the Hurricanes’ six and had minimal possession and territory.

The result leaves Moana Pasifika rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby Pacific table, nine points astray from a play-offs spot, while the Hurricanes leapfrog the Western Force into seventh place.

Both teams have a four-day turnaround, with Moana Pasifika travelling to Hamilton to face the Chiefs on Saturday just hours before the Hurricanes take on the Highlanders in Dunedin.

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Hurricanes 53 (Tries to Alex Fidow, Blake Gibson (2), Wes Goosen, Kianu Kereru-Symes, TJ Perenara, Pasilio Tosi and Reed Prinsep; 4 conversions and penalty to Ruben Love, conversion to Aidan Morgan)

Moana Pasifika 12 (Tries to Michael Curry and Alex McRobbie; conversion to Christian Leali’ifano)

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