Perenara blows away Force
Teenage scrum-half seals victory for Hurricanes
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 09/03/12 12:58pm
TJ Perenara: Scored a hat-trick of tries for the Hurricanes
A hat-trick of tries from TJ Perenara helped the Hurricanes to a 46-19 win over the Western Force.
The 19-year-old, who played a key role in New Zealand's success at the IRB Junior World Championships last year, made the most of his first start of the season to torment the hosts.
He scored twice in the first half, before completing his treble shortly after the break as the Force were blown away.
Impressive full-back Andre Taylor, Jason Eaton and Charlie Ngatai also crossed for tries, while Beauden Barrett added nine points with the boot. Daniel Kirkpatrick also slotted over a penalty and two conversions.
The Force had their chances early on but had to settle for 14 points from James Stannard, while Matt Hodgson scored their only try.
The Hurricanes were quickly out of the blocks, with Barrett slotting over a penalty and then adding the extras after his half-back partner Perenara finished off a rapier-like counter-attack. First Taylor and then Julian Savea scythed through the Force defence before the winger popped the ball up to Perenara
From 10-0 down, the Force regrouped and after a sustained spell of pressure No.8 Hodgson drove over from close range. Stannard added the extras.
Standard missed two efforts to level matters, before he finally settled his own nerves on 32 minutes.
But, having clawed their way back into the game, the wheels came off for the Force as they were caught out by two quick-fire tries before the break.
The Hurricanes restored their lead through Perenara - with the young scrum-half again profiting from close range after Cory Jane had this time been initially held up short. Barrett slotted over the extras.
And another counter-attack ensured the Hurricanes led 22-10 at the break - with full-back Taylor leaving the Force defence for dead over 60m after Cameron Shepherd's chip kick fell kindly for the visitors.
Stannard cut the deficit after the break with a penalty in front of the posts, however a defensive error effectively put the game out of sight for the Hurricanes.
Taylor's chip ahead was kept in superbly by the boot of Savea and with Alfie Mafi unable to gather the bounce, Perenara pounced to complete his hat-trick - and snatch the bonus point.
The boot of Stannard kept the Force in contention, with the fly-half cutting the deficit to 10 points with a pair of penalties.
Kirkpatrick, though, was on target with a penalty of his own and it was the Hurricanes who finished the stronger, with second row Eaton galloping through after James Broadhurst created the gap in the Force defence.
Kirkpatrick converted and then added the extras after Ngatai rubbed salt into the Force wounds with a try after the hooter.