Super Rugby-leading Hurricanes outclass Highlanders

rugby30 March 2024 09:39| © AFP
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Cam Roigard © Gallo Images

Cam Roigard scored a try, set up two others and limped off injured as the Hurricanes crushed the Highlanders 47-12 to maintain their dominant start to the Super Rugby season.

Scrum-half Roigard was a pivotal figure in a fast-paced match in Dunedin as the Hurricanes made it six wins from six, picking up a bonus point to stretch their lead atop the standings.

The ruthless visitors lifted their season try tally to 33, crossing seven times against a Highlanders side who slumped to their fourth defeat.

Wellington were 28-0 ahead at halftime, with the last try before the break being scored by the lively Roigard, who was a constant menace with his probing runs.

Touted as the player most likely to replace the retired Aaron Smith at the base of the scrum for the New Zealand All Blacks, Roigard suffered a dislocated kneecap in the second half that forced him from the field.

Captain Brad Shields hoped his 23-year-old game-breaker wouldn't be out for long but noted the Hurricanes have an excellent backup scrum-half in veteran test player TJ Perenara.

"One thing we're pretty lucky with at the moment is our depth. If you take one All Black off, you bring another All Black on," said Shields, who was enjoying his team's fast-paced style.

"It's pretty cool, I can't complain at the moment.

"We're pretty excited with where we are but there's a lot of season to go."


The Blues also attacked with freedom to beat Moana Pasifika 47-8 at Eden Park, with All Blacks winger Mark Telea bagging three of their seven tries.

Fly-half Stephen Perofeta crossed for a try and landed six conversions in a 16-point haul.

Fijian Drua made it three wins from three at home, although they had to ditch their customary free-wheeling style to beat the Western Force 31-13 at a waterlogged Churchill Park in Lautoka.

The Fijian side scored three tries to two but were able to pull clear courtesy of 16 points off the boot of fly-half Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula.

Force captain Nic White conceded his team were outplayed on a pitch that resembled a giant puddle following several days of heavy rain.

"We wanted to play with structure in these conditions but the Drua just handled it better than us," White said.

"This will feel like one we look back on that got away on us."