Kobus van Wyk yesterday bagged a hat-trick in a sensational debut for the Wellington Hurricanes, who thrashed the Sunwolves 62-15, while his old team, the Coastal Sharks, kept their strong start to the season going with a 33-23 victory over the Queensland Reds.
The bonus-point win in Napier, New Zealand, lifted the Hurricanes to second place, equal with the Waikato Chiefs in the New Zealand conference, a point behind the Canterbury Crusaders, with both the Chiefs and Crusaders on a bye week.
It was the second game in a row that the Japanese side leaked 10 tries after their thrashing last weekend by the Reds.
“We’ve got some pretty freakish athletes out there,” Hurricanes captain T.J. Perenara said. “You see Ngani, Vince, [Ben] Lam, Vaea — when those boys get going, it’s quite hard to stop.”
In Brisbane, the Durban-based Sharks proved too dangerous for the Reds, winning their third victory in four on their overseas tour.
Van Wyk joined the Hurricanes from the Sharks at the start of the season, but had been sidelined by injury until this week. When he did take the field, he scored twice in the first half and again in the second.
The Sunwolves started strongly and wrong-footed the Hurricanes to have lock Michael Stolberg score in the fourth minute.
However, it did not take the Hurricanes long to strike back and by halftime they were up 28-10 before adding 32 more points after the interval.
It was another disappointment for the Sunwolves, who opened the season with an unexpected win over the Melbourne Rebels, but have seen their farewell year in Super Rugby go downhill since then.
The loss added to a week of bad luck, with the side told on Friday their matches against the ACT Brumbies in Osaka next week and against the Crusaders in Tokyo a week later have been moved to Australia due to fears over COVID-19.
They rattled the Hurricanes early on in a short-lived show of promise before Van Wyk touched down for his opening try.
In Brisbane, the Sharks dominated the breakdown for a battling four tries to three win.
“It was a great win, a great effort from the boys, credit to the forwards. They put us on the front foot,” captain Lukhanyo Am said. “We’re really happy with the results.”
Both sides booted penalties within the opening minutes in a bruising encounter before hooker Kerron van Vuuren pounced with the first try for the Sharks, but the advantage did not last as Henry Speight dotted down for his 48th Super Rugby try three minutes later.
Tate McDermott caught the Sharks napping and nipped through from a scrum, but his efforts proved futile with Curwin Bosch nailing two monster penalty kicks and Am and Madosh Tambwe scoring late tries for a comfortable win.
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