A Salesi Rayasi double and Ardie Savea’s successful return in Napier kept the Canes humming atop the ladder.

A Salesi Rayasi double and a muscular return from captain Ardie Savea spurred the Hurricanes to a third straight maximum point victory on Friday, as they remained on track for the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final.
In their first match in Napier since February last year, the Hurricanes entertained the McLean Park crowd of 9226 in a 43-6 win over the Western Force who barely fired a shot after pushing the Chiefs and Highlanders close in Perth.
Seven tries to none some of them super efforts was easily enough to secure a bonus point for the ladder leaders who face a sterner test next Saturday against the Brumbies in Canberra.
A Salesi Rayasi double highlighted some ripper Hurricanes tries against the Western Force.
The biggest roar went up when Ngani Laumape slid over to score with seven minutes left, after Jordie Barretts chip found a rampaging Savea who delivered the final pass. Then Barrett dived over in the corner to cap a strong night for him, scoring the Hurricanes 22nd try over the first three rounds.
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It was the Hurricanes 10th straight win over the Force, a record streak against any opponent, and a record margin against them.
After seven weeks out with a knee injury, Savea was on in the 51st minute for Gareth Evans the Hawkes Bay product who was one of the Canes standouts.
Welcome back: Hurricanes Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea after their big win in Napier.
Savea immediately forced a breakdown penalty with his first act and was heavily involved, in scenes to please both Hurricanes coach Jason Holland and All Blacks boss Ian Foster.
The gifted attacker Rayasi was everywhere and showed the skill, pace and power that saw All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw chase his services for the Tokyo Olympics. Rayasi turned him down, while fellow Super Rugby players Caleb Clarke and Etene Nanai-Seturo accepted.
It was extremely hard [decision]. I wanted to get a full experience of Super Rugby and it was a tough decision and kind of last minute. Seeing those two go sort of made me sick in the stomach, but oh well, Rayasi told Sky Sport.
Hurricanes wing Salesi Rayasi cantered in for a double at McLean Park.
Evans, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Tyrel Lomax and Peter Umaga-Jensen were among the others prominent for the Hurricanes. Force lock Jeremy Thrush, a former Hurricane, toiled hard to lift the visitors and had a late try denied.
The Hurricanes had control at 19-6 up at halftime, eventually easing into their work after a poor start on a dewy McLean Park surface that tested both sides handling.
The bulky frame of Asafo Aumua sparked them to life as he pounced on a poor Force lineout, shrugging off three attempted tacklers and galloping 65m to score a wonderful solo try in the 14th minute.
With Dane Coles resting, Aumua got a welcome start and was a wrecking ball on defence, too, but departed before halftime after failing a head injury assessment. He was felled by a Force high tackle near the line that was penalised, but oddly not explored further for a potential card.
The Hurricanes were powerful up front, had all the ball and got some momentum, shifting it wider then hammering away in midfield with Rayasi and Umaga-Jensen prominent figures on attack.
Rayasi was denied one try after he shoved Force halfback Tomas Cubelli, but made amends with a ripper three minutes later. Umaga-Jensen floated a gem of a wide pass and Rayasi finished with a spectacular dive in the left corner.
Then, just before the break, prop Lomax produced a one on one strip from the rugby league playbook, pinching the ball off Force No 8 Tim Anstee. Flanker DuPlessis Kirifi grabbed it and hared 40m to score.
The Canes had leaked nine tries against the Waratahs and Rebels despite piling on plenty of their own, but their defence held firm.
Force wings Toni Pulu and Jordan Olowofela posed threats out wide but were contained as the hosts went bonus point hunting.
The Western Force defence is too late again, as Wes Goosen slides over for the Canes.
They went wide again and the speedy right wing Wes Goosen, after playing a blinder the previous week, scorched the wet turf to score.
Then after Savea returned and made an immediate impact, it was game over. A promising Force attack broke down, Rayasi cleverly trapped the ball with his boot and sprinted 90m to score his second, leaving the final quarter for the Hurricanes to boost their points differential which will be crucial in final permutations.
Hurricanes 43 (Salesi Rayasi 2, Asafo Aumua, DuPlessis Kirifi, Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett tries; Barrett 4 con) Force 6 (Domingo Miotti 2 pen). HT: 19-6