Hurricanes 62 Sunwolves 15
Fulltime - Hurricanes 62 (Van Wyk 3, Tiatia 2, Lam, Evans, Perenara, Laumape, Aso tries; Smith 5, Tiatia conversions) Sunwolves 15 (Stolberg, Fifita tries; Ogura penalty, conversion)
Extra time - Sunwolves have one last chance for a consolation try, earning a penalty and kicking to the corner.
But from the lineout, they knock the ball on and the whistle blows for fulltime - a convincing win for the Hurricanes.
77th minute - TRY to Aso
Aso gets the ball on the left wing and chips it downfield, over the goal-line. Sunwolves defender Fifita tries to kick it dead, but the ball bounces under his foot and Aso is on hand to touch down.
Tiatia hooks the conversion.
71st minute - From an attacking scrum, Umaga-Jensen spins through the defence to dive over the try-line, but the last pass from Laumape is ruled forward.
68th minute - Sunwolves recklessly try to run from their own line, but Laumape wraps up the ball in a tackle, and Hurricanes are awarded a maul turnover and attacking scrum.
66th minute - TRY to Siosaia Fifita
From an attacking scrum, replacement halfback Saito runs right and finds Fifita, who bounces off Lam and takes a couple more defenders over the try-line with him.
62nd minute - TRY to Laumape
From a turnover deep in their own half, the Hurricanes spread theball left to Tiatia, with Laumape steaming up in support.
Tiatia draws the last defender and finds Laumape inside for the try. Tiatia converts from in front.
56th minute - TRY to van Wyk
Riccitelli is in the backline and throws a midfield bounce-pass that finds Aso, who has space to burn and draws the last defender, before putting van Wyk in for his hat-trick. Smith misses the conversion from wide.
54th minute - From a scrum penalty, Paige takes a quick tap and tries to ignite some attack for the Sunwolves. Hurricanes turn the ball over and toss the ball all over the field.
49th minute - Hurricanes start to ring the changes, including debutant Johnathan Taumateine replacing Perenara.
46th minute - TRY to Evans
Fidow, Perenara and Fifita handle, before Evans runs the final 20 metres for the third try in quick succession. Sunwolves are falling off tackles now and this could get ugly.
Smith converts from in front.
43rd minute - TRY to Perenara
From the kickoff, Fletcher Smith makes a bust that puts Aumua in the clear. when he's dragged won, the ball bobbles free to Perenara, who strolls over in the corner. Smith again slices the conversion.
41st minute - TRY to Lam
From the second-half kickoff, the ball spreads wide left to Lam, who is too powerful for the defence and crosses in the corner. Smith misses his first kick for the night.
Halftime - Hurricanes 28 (Tiatia 2, van Wyk 2 tries; Smith four conversions) Sunwolves 10 (Stolberg try; Ogura conversion)
39th minute - Tiatia makes a bust that gives Ben Lam some space down the left. He bounces off two would-be tacklers, before he's finally bundled into touch.
35th minute - Aso busts the midfield to start a movement that finishes with him throwing another ridiculous no-look pass for Perenara to score... but the move is called back for a forward pass.
33rd minute - Great stat, Hurricanes have won their last eight games after byes.
From the scrum, Hurricanes try to clear, but Sunwolves are pinged for offside and Smith clears.
32nd minute - Sunwolves earn an attacking penalty and kick to the corner. They try to maul to the line, but the much-improved Hurricanes pack forces the turnover and defensive scrum.
29th minute - TRY to van Wyk
From the lineout, Hurricanes maul and then Perenara finds van Wyk steaming down the right for his second try of the afternoon. Smith maintains his faultless goal-kicking display with the conversion.
27th minute - From a setpiece inside Hurricanes half, Vaea Fifita makes a huge bust and chips ahead. Sunwolves gather, but are pushed into touch.
25th minute - TRY to Chase Tiatia
Hurricanes pack put in a huge shove at the Sunwolves scrum and wins a penalty. Perenara takes a quick tap and spreads the ball wide left, Aso makes the midfield bust and tosses a speculator pass that bounces fortuitously for Tiatia.
22nd minute - Van Wyk chases a high kick upfield and smashes the Sunwolves defender as he catches the ball. Hurricanes win a penalty and kick to the corner.
Their opportunity is lost when the lineout tap bounces cruelly for Kirifi, who knocks on.
19th minute - TRY to Chase Tiatia
From an attacking lineout, van Wyk is brought into the line and bumps off a tackle, before offloading to Aso. Tiatia is steaming up in support and outflanks the defence to score.
Smith slots the conversion.
16th minute - Sunwolves trying to build phases in midfield, but Perenata sneaks around the ruck to steal the ball - he's penalised and Ogura lines up a shot at goal. He slots it.
12th minute - TRY to Kobus van Wyk
Laumape and Aso continue to cause mayhem in midfield, and when he is finally coralled, Aso flicks a backhanded pass towards van Wyk, who gathers and angles to the goal-line to score.
Smith converst and we're back on level terms.
11th minute - Aso gives Laumape some space down the left touch-line and the midfielder left-foots to the try-line. Horan dives on the ball and Laumape is penalised for diving on top of him.
Ninth minute - Aso busts through the midfield and puts through a grubber kick that is gathered and tidied up by the Sunwolves. Hurricanes are penalised at the breakdown and Sunwolves clear.
Seventh minute - Hurricanes try to mount an attack, after Laumape takes a clearing kick in his own half and bounces off the first defender. Sunwolves defence manages to break up the movement.
Fourth minute - TRY to Stolberg
Smith's clearance doesn't find touch and from the breakdown, Stolberg runs a brillient inside line off his first-five and outpaces the defence to score, nice pace for a lock. Ogura converts.
Third minute - From the lineout win, the Sunwolves try to maul over the Hurricanes line, but the ball is turned over and Fletcher Smith clears his goal-line.
First minute - Inside ball from the lineout win sets Siosaia Fifita loose in the midfield and Hurricanes are penalised from the breakdown. Sunwolves kick to the corner for an attacking lineout.
Kickoff - Conditions look perfect at McLeans Park, 27C and just a slight breese, perfect underfoot conditions. Great to have afternoon footy.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Hurricanes v Sunvwolves Super Rugby clash at Napier's McLean Park.
After a shaky start to their season - held scoreless on the road by the Stormers - they have since rebounded with wins over the Jaguares - last year's beaten finalists - in Buenos Aires and the previously unbeaten Sharks at home.
If you jumped to conclusions about that 27-0 loss in South Africa, remember the Wellingtonians began their championship-winning 2016 campaign with a 50-point defeat in Canberra.
By contrast, the Sunwolves are in their final year of Super Rugby and began with their ninth win in five years, beating the Rebels in Fukuoka. They have a slightly rag-tag look about them, but can be dangerous, if taken lightly.
Still, the Hurricanes are unbackable favourites, with the TAB offering $21 for a Sunwolves victory.
Hurricanes: 1-Xavier Numia, 2-Asafo Aumua, 3-Tyrel Lomax, 4- James Blackwell, 5-Scott Scrafton, 6-Vaea Fifita, 7-Du'Plessis Kirifi, 8-Gareth Evans, 9-TJ Perenara (c), 10-Fletcher Smith, 11-Ben Lam, 12-Ngani Laumape, 13-Vince Aso, 14-Kobus van Wyk, 15-Chase Tiatia
Reserves: 16-Ricky Riccitelli, 17-Ben May, 18-Alex Fidow, 19-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20-Devan Flanders, 21-Jonathan Taumateine, 22-James Marshall, 23-Peter Umaga-Jensen
Sunwolves: 1-Jarred Adams, 2-Jaba Bregvadze, 3-Hencus van Wyk, 4-Kotaro Yatabe, 5-Michael Stolberg, 6-Tevita Tupou, 7-Mitch Jacobson, 8-Jake Schatz, 9-Rudy Paige, 10-Jumpei Ogura, 11-James Dargaville, 12-Shogo Nakano, 13-Keisuke Moriya, 14-Siosaia Fifita, 15-Alex Horan
Reserves: 16-Efitusi Maafu, 17-Nic Mayhew, 18-Conraad van Vuuren, 19-Justin Downey, 20-Shunsuke Nunomaki, 21-Naoto Saito, 22-JJ Engelbrecht, 23-Tautalatasi Tasi
Hurricanes' Jordie Barrett rested against Sunwolves
All Blacks Jordie Barrett and Dane Coles have been left out of the Hurricanes squad to play the Sunwolves at Napier's McLean Park on Saturday.
Barrett will be rested on one of his two prescribed NZ Rugby bye weeks. He'll instead play at the New Zealand Open Pro-Am tournament this week in Queenstown, alongside fellow All Blacks Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown.
Co-captain Coles has been scratched as a precaution, due to a calf complaint sustained during training. Hurricanes staff expected the All Blacks veteran to be back in action against the Blues the following week.
A hand injury has forced Jackson Garden-Bachop out of the selection frame, with Fletcher Smith stepping into start at first-five from fullback. Garden-Bachop is expected to miss a few weeks of action.
Chase Tiatia fills in for Barrett at fullback, while South African Kobus van Wyk gets a chance to start on the right wing in place of Wes Goosen, who shifts to the bench.
In the forwards, James Blackwell comes back into the fold, after resting a toe injury and Fraser Armstrong will be replaced by Xavier Numia at loosehead prop.
Whilst the Sunwolves have never beaten the Hurricanes, in last year’s match-up in Tokyo, they led 23 –10 going into halftime.
Coach Jason Holland said they were the type of team that thrived on being the underdogs.
"We know that they will capitalise on any mistakes we make, so we need to be accurate."
After a rough start to the season, the Wellington-based franchise will look to make it three straight wins, after their victories over the Jaguares and the Sharks.
More to come