Records fall as Hurricanes beat Cheetahs 61-7 in Super Rugby

By The Associated Press 21 May 2017, 12:00AM

Center Vince Aso scored three tries to lift the Wellington, New Zealand-based Hurricanes to a 61-7 win over the Cheetahs in Super Rugby on Saturday, becoming the leading try scorer of the season by raising his tally to a club-record 13.

In a later match at Perth, Australia, the Highlanders continued the high-scoring onslaught by New Zealand teams when the Dunedin-based side beat the Western Force 55-6.

It gave the two Kiwi sides an aggregate advantage of 116 to 13 points over their opposition in the opening matches Saturday.

Aso began the match with 10 tries, one behind his midfield partner Ngani Leaumape who previously led the season's try scoring list with 11. Aso's first try in the 20th minute allowed him to draw level with Leaumape and helped the Hurricanes to a 21-7 lead by halftime.

Inside center Leaumape then created two second tries for Aso, who first matched the season record for the Hurricanes — 12 by former All Blacks captain Tana Umaga — and then claimed that record for himself.

In a match of records at Wellington, the New Zealand capital, All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett — who started the match at fullback for the Hurricanes — kicked five conversions from five attempts to lift his career tally in Super Rugby to 992.

Barrett moved into fourth place on the all-time scorers' list ahead of Andrew Mehrtens (990) and behind top-placed Dan Carter (1,708), Morne Steyn (1,431) and Stirling Mortlock (1,036).

The Highlanders won both their matches in South Africa and added the Perth encounter convincingly to its three-match victory swing. They've won eight in a row.

The New Zealand side scored eight tries to none and notched 45 unanswered points after the Force made it 10-6 midway through the first half.

By The Associated Press 21 May 2017, 12:00AM

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