South African Kobus van Wyk has celebrated his debut for the Hurricanes with a hat-trick, as the Wellington-based Super Rugby side romped to a 62-15 win over Sunwolves in Napier.
Switching to New Zealand this season, after three seasons each with the Stormers and Sharks, the 28-year-old was given a start on the right wing in place of another SA-born flyer, Wes Goosen, and showed he will be hard to keep out of the line-up.
With the Hurricanes down an early try to the visitors, van Wyk opened their account in the 12th minute, added another try before half-time and brought up his third midway through the second half, showing strength and pace.
While the ill-fated Japanese side, playing their final season in Super Rugby, were well beaten on the scoreboard, they gave their hosts something to think about early, with lock Mike Stolberg scoring the first try.
But with an abundance of possession, the Hurricanes backs cut their counterparts to ribbons, especially in midfield, where All Blacks Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso were unstoppable.
Aso was particularly effective, making space for those around him and throwing no-look passes that confounded his markers - and his teammates, at times.
He laid on four assists, including two of van Wyk's tries, and was unlucky to have a couple more ruled out.
Fullback Chase Tiatia, deputising for All Black utility Jordie Barrett, also marked his first appearance of the season with two tries and two try assists.
After van Wyk's first effort, Sunwolves first-five Jumpei Ogura slotted a penalty for a 10-7 lead, but conceded 21 consecutive points - three converted tries - to fall off the pace and had even less to offer in the second half.
Their only response after the break came in the form of a try from Siosaia Fifita in the 66th minute.
The result means the Hurricanes have now won their last nine games after bye weeks and took their record for the season to three wins/one loss, after starting their campaign with a limp 27-0 defeat to the Stormers.
They host the Blues next Saturday.
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)
Join us for live updates of the 2020 Super Rugby competition.