Hometown hero Laumape inspires Hurricanes win, Rebels down Highlanders

By Peter Thompson 1 March 2019 2
Hometown hero Laumape inspires Hurricanes win, Rebels down Highlanders

Ngani Laumape scored a hat-trick in his home town as the Hurricanes thrashed the Brumbies 43-13, while the Rebels claimed their second Super Rugby win of the season against the Highlanders on Friday.

New Zealand centre Laumape was the star of the show in Palmerston North, crossing twice in the second half to complete a treble after Dane Coles helped himself to a brace of first-half tries.

The Hurricanes were beaten 38-22 by the Crusaders last time out, but responded with a clinical display - consigning the Brumbies to a second defeat of the season.

Coles pounced on a loose ball and ran away for the opening try, also dotting down again late in the first half after Laumape's opening five-pointer.

A converted try from Folau Fainga'a got the Brumbies on the board before Coles' second score, but Beauden Barrett - making his first appearance of the year - increased the Hurricanes' lead early in the second half with a penalty.

Laumape showed great power and pace as he went over twice in the space of seven minutes to complete his hat-trick, and Barrett took his tally from the tee to 11 points before both sides recorded late scores through Tom Wright and James Blackwell.

The Rebels made it two wins out of two with a hard-fought 24-19 success over the Highlanders at AAMI Park.

Tom English scored a first-half double and there were also tries for Jack Maddocks and Bill Meakes as David Wessels' side secured a first win over the Dunedin-based franchise since 2013.

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Peter Thompson