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Hurricanes batter Sunwolves in Japan

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/02/2017

Malgene Ilaua #6 of Sunwolves in action during the Super Rugby Rd 1 game between Sunwolves and Hurricanes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground on February 25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan © Koki Nagahama/Getty Images for SUNWOLVES Malgene Ilaua #6 of Sunwolves in action during the Super Rugby Rd 1 game between Sunwolves and Hurricanes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground on February 25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan The Hurricanes have pulverised the Sunwolves in the opening match of their Super Rugby defence, winning 83-17 in Tokyo.

Last year's champions battered the two-year-old side from pillar to post in their first foray to Japan, running in 13 tries to three.

It is the Hurricanes' highest-ever points total and the fifth-highest in Super Rugby history.

The Sunwolves, meanwhile, looked well out of their depth against Kiwi opposition, with 40 missed tackles and conceding 16 turnovers.

Having avoided New Zealand sides in their inaugural Super Rugby campaign, the expansion side will on current evidence endure a painful 2017.

It took just five minutes for the Wellingtonians to get in front, which they did in style through Test openside Ardie Savea.

Stand-in skipper TJ Perenara took advantage of good work by Jordie Barrett and Julian Savea to place a perfect box chip kick into the path of Ngani Laumape, who offloaded to Ardie to crash over.

They scored their second two minutes later, as late call-up Vince Aso nailed a chip-and-chase down the right to score.

A third followed to Ardie after rolling through two Sunwolves tackles, before Ricky Riccitelli finished off a lineout set-play to send his side 24-0 up.

Intricate play down the left from Matt Proctor, Julian and Barrett then gave Perenara the simplest of five-pointers.

Julian then scored his first of the campaign after collecting a cross-field kick near his own 22-metre line and making a beeline for the white paint.

The Sunwolves pegged one back through fullback Riaan Viljoen in the corner, but were hit again in the 37th minute when second-five Laumape coasted over.

Heading into the break 45-5 ahead, the Hurricanes started where they left off in the second half with loosie Blade Thomson crashing over on the right edge.

Second-rower Michael Fatialofa went over soon after, before Brad Shields collected one for himself and Fatialofa pinched a second from a maul.

Another followed for Aso down the right flank, before substitute Wes Goosen picked up an intercept to send the Canes past 80.

The Sunwolves pinched a pair of consolations in an improved late-game spell through Shokei Kin and Willie Britz, but could do little to change the final outcome.

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