Mesmerising midfielders Vince Aso and Ngani Laumape have run riot for the Hurricanes who have demolished the Cheetahs 61-7 in their Super Rugby clash in Wellington.
The defending champions on Saturday picked up a bonus point along the way, running in nine tries to one, with Aso and Laumape in particularly devastating form through the middle.
The Cheetahs showed a willingness to run the ball and looked dangerous on the counter early on, but a lack of cohesion and organisation in attack gifted the Hurricanes two quick tries after 17 minutes.
Lock Vaea Fifita latched onto a wayward pass, as the Cheetahs rashly attempted to run the ball from inside their own 22, and strolled over to break the scoreless deadlock.
Three minutes later, Aso burst through for the first of his three tries, finishing clinically after halfback TJ Perenara took a quick lineout throw and the Hurricanes shifted the ball wide.
The Cheetahs hit back in the 24th minute, capitalising on a rare foray into Hurricanes territory when five-eighth Fred Zeilinga darted over from a rolling maul, but Ardie Savea crossed to give the Canes a 21-7 lead at halftime.
The Cheetahs were reduced to 14 men four minutes after the restart, hooker Elandre Huggett’s binning the signal for the Hurricanes to cut loose with two more quickfire tries.
Perenara darted over from a rolling maul, then Aso was set up for his second after Laumape sliced through from inside the Hurricanes’ 22.
Tighthead prop Jeff To’omaga-Allen powered across from the pick and go as the hour mark neared, Aso crossing five minutes later for his third try of the night – and his 13th of the season – from another Laumape break.
Two tries in the last 10 minutes wrapped up the record win, Ben Lam haring down the right wing to finish off an end-to-end effort, before replacement hooker Leni Apisai topped off the night with his first Super Rugby try.