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Ioane bags hat-trick as Auckland run wild

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/10/2016
<span style="font-size:13px;">Centre Rieko Ioane</span> Centre Rieko Ioane

Centre Rieko Ioane snared his second hat-trick in the space of a week as Auckland truly flexed their NPC muscles with a 54-17 rout of Otago.

Last year's premiership runners-up have struggled for consistency this season but produced comfortably their best display in running seven tries past the championship division leaders at Eden Park.

Nineteen-year-old Ioane bagged three of them, repeating his return from six days earlier against Bay of Plenty, to further underline his enormous potential.

Auckland captain Simon Hickey was another contender for player of the day, the first five-eighth enjoying a feast of possession in a 24-point haul which included a try.

The northerners climb from fourth to second behind Canterbury although they have played one more game than third-placed Taranaki.

Otago, who started the season with six straight wins, suffered their first loss last week to Canterbury.

Their defence was as poor on Saturday as was their error rate in a performance which still conjured tries late in each half to front-rowers Donald Brighouse and Jonah Aoina.

Auckland's other tries were long-range efforts finished by winger Lolani Visinia, fullback Melani Nanai and flanker Taleni Seu.

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