Winger Mack Hansen scored a hat-trick of tries as the ruthless ACT Brumbies romped to a record 61-10 victory over the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby AU in Canberra on Saturday.
The defending champions ran in nine tries in all to make it two wins out of two for the season and extend their winning streak at their Canberra Stadium fortress to seven matches.
It was a second record defeat for the hapless Waratahs in successive weeks after the 41-7 loss to the Queensland Reds in their season-opener.
Flanker Rob Valetini, fly-half Noah Lolesio and hooker Connal McInerney crossed in addition to Hansen to help the Brumbies to a 26-10 lead at the break.
Super Rugby AU | Brumbies v Waratahs - Rd 2 Highlights— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) February 27, 2021
The @BrumbiesRugby recorded their biggest ever win over the @NSWWaratahs on Saturday night, thrashing their rivals 61-10 to leap to the top of Super Rugby AU.#SuperRugby #SuperRugbyAU #BRUvWAR pic.twitter.com/GKyePv6k4A
Two more for Hansen after the break were supplemented by scores for scrum-half Nic White, replacement hooker Lachlan Lonergan and full-back Tom Banks to give the Brumbies a seventh successive win over the Waratahs.
"That was great. The best part about it was putting on a good performance for our home crowd," said Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa.
The visitors lacked nothing in effort or fight but looked like a desperate rabble when compared to the efficiency and cohesiveness of their hosts.
Prop Harry Johnson-Holmes got over the line for the Waratahs in the 30th minute but there was no disguising the lack of quality in a team which has lost the services of more than 15 internationals over the last couple of years.
"That was a tough one to take," said Waratahs captain Alex Newsome. "We just can't make that many errors and expect to compete with the Brumbies."
It was the biggest winning margin and highest score for the Brumbies in 38 Super Rugby matches against the Waratahs going back to 1996.
Super Rugby Aotearoa | Hurricanes v Blues - Rd 1 Highlights— Super Rugby (@SuperRugby) February 27, 2021
The @BluesRugbyTeam overcame a slow start against the @Hurricanesrugby on Saturday, kicking off Super Rugby Aotearoa with a win in Wellington.#SuperRugby #SkySuperRugbyAotearoa #HURvBLU pic.twitter.com/E5bGBqjnoH
Elsewhere, the Auckland Blues cut loose with three tries in the second half to beat the Wellington Hurricanes 31-16 in their Super Rugby Aotearoa opener in the New Zealand capital on Saturday.
Winger Caleb Clarke and fullback Stephen Perofeta both crossed in the first 15 minutes of the second half to overhaul an 11-7 deficit, and centre Rieko Ioane put a gloss on the win three minutes from time.
The Hurricanes, captained for the first time by Ardie Savea, had two tries from wrecking-ball hooker Asafo Aumua but paid the price for ill-discipline with James Blackwell and Du'Plessis Kirifi both spending 10 minutes in the sinbin.
The game looked like being a try-fest at the start with Dalton Papalii scoring a try for the Blues and Aumua responding for the home side inside the first six minutes.
The Blues had the better of the rest of the half but could not convert their chances and two booming penalty kicks from Jordie Barrett, the first from the halfway line, gave the Hurricanes a slender at the break.
Clarke had the simplest finish of his young career nine minutes after the resumption, when an Otere Black crosskick found him unmarked in the corner and Perofeta finished off a slick attacking move for a converted try that took the lead to 21-11.
Aumua hit back for the Hurricanes with his second try just after the hour mark. Barrett looked unfortunate to have his high, curling conversion ruled unsuccessful.
Hurricanes full-back Barrett was left ruing a misjudged crosskick in the 77th minute after Rieko Ioane snapped up the loose ball and raced 60 metres to score.