Super Rugby Pacific: Hurricanes blow hapless Western Force off park in Perth

  • 24/02/2024

The Hurricanes have opened their 2024 Super Rugby Pacific account with a 44-14 demolition of embattled Western Force late Saturday (NZ time).

The NZ side were scarcely troubled in Perth, streaking to a 22-0 lead at halftime and never looking back, running in six tries to two to add a bonus point to their tally.

Led by livewires Asafo Aumua and Peter Lakai, the Canes forward pack set the platform for victory with a dominant evening against their counterparts, who struggled to gain any foothold on the contest.

Peter Lakai strides out for the Hurricanes.
Peter Lakai strides out for the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Getty Images

Debutant halfback Jordi Viljoen was another stand out for the Hurricanes, taking his opportunity in the absence of injured teammates Cam Roigard and TJ Perenara with both hands to spark his potent backline, nabbing a try in the process.

Ruben Love continued where he left off last year with a superb night out, as did All Blacks midfielder Jordie Barrett, who provided the crossfield kick for the game's opening try for Josh Moorby.

Barrett says he was pleased with his team effort in what can be a tricky first-up road trip.

"Very rapt," Barrett said.

"Round one, away from home in Perth where teams struggle here, particularly early on, so we knew it was going to be a challenge and we're stoked."

On the other side of the coin, there was little for the Force to be encouraged by, missing 39 tackles and losing six lineouts on their own throw in a ragged performance.

"There's not much to say," said Force co-captain Michael Wells.  

"It's bitterly disappointing and we've got to take learnings from that.

"There are a few boys to come back, but the squad mentality is the team that we put out has got to do a job.

"We can't wait for guys who are injured. We've got to do a better job on the field every week."

The Hurricanes move on to face the Reds next Sunday, as part of the Super Round in Melbourne.

Hurricanes 44 (Moorby, Viljoen, Delany, Aumua, Lakai, Rayasi tries; Cameron 4 cons, 2 pens) Western Force 14 (White, Tiatia tries; Donaldson 2 cons)