Julian Savea dents the Jaguares with hat-trick

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Lynn McConnell     09 Apr 2016     Getty Images

Heading the heavy artillery on the night when stalwart Cory Jane played his 100th game for the side was wing Julian Savea who completed a hat-trick of tries, his first three tries of the season, and coming, as they did, on the back of a break to complete some remedial work on his fitness they were well-timed.

But hooker and captain Dane Coles, who has had an injury delayed start to the season was all over the park in a sterling display and showed all his try scoring skill in getting over for a vital try.

Halfback TJ Perenara was at his sniping best around the short side with dazzling effect. First five-eighths Beauden Barrett had a varied night but stepped up in key moments while flanker Ardie Savea was an enervating force in the loose.

Complementing the firepower was the ever-reliable Blade Thomson and a forward pack that produced a pushover try against the scrum conscious Jaguares and produced Savea's third try.

But gnawing away at the side was an inability to put the foot on the throat of the visitors and the Hurricanes looked to have conceded a bonus try point when halfback Martin Landajo was able to duck around a maul to score in the corner to get the Jaguares back to 22-33.

However, they got it back when replacement prop Ben May crashed over in injury time for a try.

Barrett had opened the scoring when making up for missing a sitter of a penalty goal when taking advantage of a turnover achieved at a mid-field turnover by loose forwards Brad Shields and Victor Vito to chase through after a deft grubber kick by Ardie Savea and slide over for a 10th minute try.

However, Savea was soon in the bad books for taking down a Jaguares lineout maul and was put in the sin bin. In the meantime, yet another lineout drive from the South Americans saw big No.8 Leonardo Senatore corkscrew his way over for a 21st minute try.

No sooner was Savea back in action than centre Matias Moroni latched onto a pass from Perenara to race 60m downfield to score with Ardie Savea giving chase to force him wide.

Up 12-7 the Jaguares attempted to continue their driving play but three minutes from the end of the half, under penalty advantage following a Perenara short-side break, the ball was moved for Barrett to slightly delay his pass to Thomson. It was sufficient to put him into a gap from where he lobbed a long pass to Julian Savea who powered his way over with two men hanging onto him.

From the restart the Hurricanes secured the ball and then Perenara essayed another blindside break, this time to the left, and raced into open spaces. He wasn't able to pass to Julian Savea so he put a kick towards the goal-line and Savea's speed was enough for him to dive on the ball a few metres out and to slide across the damp grass to score.

In a lineout resulting from a reversed decision after an intercept try to Shields it was a superb reverse pass from Barrett to Coles that opened up the defence for the Wellington captain to show his pace and evasion skills to take the lead out to 28-15.

The Jaguares had their own misfortune just before the end when replacement centre Gonzalo Bertranou wasn't quite able to ground the ball over the line. Then from the choice of a scrum from a penalty earlier in the same play, Landajo broke to the blind and put wing Emiliano Boffelli over but it was a forward pass and no try. It was that sort of night.

Scorers: Hurricanes 40 (Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea , Dane Coles, Ben May tries; Barrett 5 con) Jaguares 22 (Leonardo Senatore, Matias Moroni, Martin Landajo tries; Nicolas Sanchez 2 con, pen). HT: 21-12