Barrett brilliance helps Hurricanes thrash Rebels


New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett played a starring role as Hurricanes thumped Melbourne Rebels 38-13 on Friday to record a fifth successive Super Rugby win.

Barrett scored two tries and was heavily involved in a couple more as the visitors to AAMI Park made light of a poor playing surface that cut up horribly inside first 10 minutes.

The in-form Hurricanes secured a bonus point prior to half-time and never looked likely to relinquish control thereafter as they outclassed their opponents.

There was initial encouragement for the Rebels as Julian Savea lost his footing and Dom Shipperley capitalised to touch down from Tamati Ellison's clever kick through in the eighth minute.

However, Shipperley needed to be helped off the field with an injured left leg after he was hurt attempting to halt a glorious break from Barrett that led to Victor Vito scoring Hurricanes' first try.

Although a Reece Hodge penalty put the Rebels back in front, Hurricanes responded impressively, Cory Jane speeding over on the right flank after Jason Woodward had collected his own chip over the top.

Barrett then intercepted a Hodge pass to go in himself before putting in a cross-field kick that led to former Rebels back Woodward adding his name to the list of try-scorers.

When Ardie Savea claimed an opportunistic try as the Rebels dallied over a ruck in the second half, Hurricanes had added 24 points without reply and Barrett duly helped himself to another score prior to Cam Crawford's late consolation.

Hurricanes now trail Australasian Group leaders Chiefs by just four points, while the Rebels remain level on points with the Brumbies, who top the Australia Conference.