Aso shines as Canes thrash sorry Cheetahs
Vince Aso grabbed a hat-trick as the Hurricanes inflicted more misery on the Cheetahs with a 61-7 Super Rugby thrashing at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The Canes suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of the Crusaders last time out but they quickly got back to winning ways with a comprehensive bonus-point win that included nine tries.
Aso was the star of the show with three scores to his name as the Cheetahs defence was breached all too easily, the South African province slipping to a ninth successive defeat.
Vaea Fifita started the onslaught in the 17th minute with Aso going over for the first time soon after, but the Cheetahs responded and grabbed their only points of the match as Fred Zeilinga converted his own try.
That brief confidence boost after 25 minutes was as good as it got for the Cheetahs as they suffered another heavy loss, their resistance disappearing after the break as the Canes ran in 40 unanswered points to move second in the New Zealand Conference.
Highlanders were equally as impressive against Western Force as another New Zealand franchise claimed a comprehensive victory, by a 55-6 scoreline.
At the half-hour stage, the two sides were only separated by four points but a lack of discipline from Force allowed their visitors to take full control.
Semisi Masirewa and Richie Arnold both spent time in the sin bin in quick succession and that saw the momentum switch, the Highlanders taking full advantage to score 45 points without reply.
Aki Seiuli and Rob Thompson both scored twice as Highlanders claimed a bonus point which could be crucial in the very competitive conference.
Lwazi Mvovo sent the Sunwolves to another defeat as the Japanese side were beaten 38-17 by the Sharks in Singapore.
Mvovo opened the scoring but did not complete his treble until the closing moments with two tries in the final six minutes, adding gloss to an impressive Sharks display.
The visitors finished strong in both halves of Saturday's clash to take the game away from the Sunwolves.
Ruan Botha and Sibusiso Nkosi both crossed in the space of 11 minutes before the break as the Sharks moved ahead, and a late flurry from Mvovo wrapped up the points.