Hurricanes blow Sharks away
A magnificent performance from TJ Perenara helped the Hurricanes storm into the Super Rugby semi-finals with a 41-0 thrashing of the Sharks in Wellington.
Scrum-half Perenara was heavily involved in three tries before going over himself as the hosts - last year's beaten finalists - dominated on a wet and windy evening at Westpac Stadium to secure a home semi-final.
The only negative for the Hurricanes, who were able to rest Perenara, Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett for the final quarter, was an injury to skipper Dane Coles early in the second half. The All Blacks hooker came off in clear discomfort with an apparent rib problem.
Garth April missed a trio of first-half kicks for the Sharks, who also saw a Tendai Mtawarira try ruled out for a double movement before the break.
As a result, the South African franchise became the first team to be kept scoreless in a Super Rugby play-off match.
The Hurricanes crossed twice before the interval, Loni Uhila going over prior to Perenara scooting down the blindside to set up a score for James Marshall.
Coles' withdrawal represented a setback for the Canes, but they soon ended the game as a contest with two more eye-catching tries.
Jason Woodward touched down following a fine run from Perenara and the number nine then started a devastating counter-attack finished by Vaea Fifita, who shrugged off two would-be tacklers in a powerful surge to the line.
The Sharks were in disarray by the time Perenara glided through a huge gap to claim a well-deserved try of his own, while Brad Shields also crossed to round things off.