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Two-try Julian Savea rolls back the years as the Hurricanes eventually blow away the Rebels

By AAP

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The Julian Savea-inspired Hurricanes have extended Australia’s run of outs in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman – but not quite as emphatically as expected. Fresh off putting 64 points on the NSW Waratahs, the Hurricanes needed more than an hour to put Melbourne to the sword in an entertaining 35-13 victory over the Rebels in Wellington.

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Unlike their second-half surrender in a 50-3 shellacking at the hands of the Blues last week, the Rebels, even while down on troops, produced a vastly improved and spirited performance on Friday night.

Despite camping themselves on the Melbourne try line, the Hurricanes scored all 14 of their first-half points only while Rebels prop Cabous Eloff was in the sin bin between the 15th and 25th minutes.

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And even the Hurricanes’ first try came against the run of play, with former All Blacks winger Savea intercepting a pass from Rebels fly-half Carter Gordon and racing 40 metres to score the opener.

Impressive centre Billy Proctor added the Hurrican es’ second and Jordie Barrett’s two conversions gave the hosts a 14-3 lead at the break, with the Rebels’ only points of the half coming via a Matt Toomua penalty goal. However, the return of Wallabies forward Trevor Hosea and a clear commitment to defence dragged the Rebels back into the second-half contest.

A Michael Wells try shortly after the interval, after a quick tap and sharp pass from Joe Powell, pulled the Rebels back to within six points of the Hurricanes. But a second try to Savea – which leaves “The Bus” just one shy of the Hurricanes’ all-time Super Rugby record of 56 from Christian Cullen and TJ Perenara – then another from fellow winger Wes Goosen in the space of 10 minutes sealed the Rebels’ fate.

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The Hurricanes’ fifth try seven minutes from full-time clinched a bonus point. Melbourne’s loss left Australia’s five teams none from six after the Rebels, Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Western Force and Brumbies all lost in round one to New Zealand outfits.

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Two-try Julian Savea rolls back the years as the Hurricanes eventually blow away the Rebels

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