Normal service appears to have resumed for the Hurricanes with a comfortable victory over the Force in Palmerston North tonight, although the halftime message from their coach Chris Boyd was timely.
The advice, in the midst of their first home match of the season, was patience, because the Hurricanes made enough mistakes in the first half to fill their quota for several games, such was their eagerness to shut the Force out. In the end it was a comprehensive bonus-point six-tries-to-nil win; the Force hanging in there for 55 minutes before the floodgates opened.
The first half alone will leave Boyd's men with plenty to work on, but after the extensive casualty list which followed last weekend's victory over the Blues at Eden Park, the coach is unlikely to mind too much.
This time he appeared to escape reasonably lightly, although Victor Vito was icing a calf muscle after leaving the field early in the second half.
The disclocated shoulder to wing Nehe Milner-Skudder was the worst of Boyd's problems last week, with Cory Jane given a good opportunity to not only press his claims for the black and gold No14 jersey, but also the All Black one.
Jane will probably be reasonably happy with his work, especially in the first half where his vision and fend made him one of the standouts. But he and fellow wing Julian Savea struggled to get into the match, victims perhaps of the Force's rush defence.
The men from Perth have won only once this season - a victory in Brisbane over the Reds - but they asked many questions of a Hurricanes team which has yet to impress this season after going all the way to the final last year.
In flanker Matt Hodgson they had a man at the breakdown to rival even Ardie Savea. They limited the damage to a Dane Coles try off a lineout move in the first half - awarded by television match official Shane McDermott, who found in favour twice for the Hurricanes against the Blues last weekend.
Although they took a 10-3 lead to halftime, the Force struck with a penalty after the break and made the home side scrap for everything.
At 10-6 they were within a sniff of a try with a lineout drive on the Hurricanes' line, only to lose the ball and watch as James Marshall score at the other end.
It was a try which not surprisingly knocked the stuffing out of them, with TJ Perenara scoring shortly after to put the game to bed. From there the Hurricanes rolled over the top of the visitors, Boyd's men scoring 31 points in the last 20 minutes. Blade Thomson's try came from another turnover, midfielder Ngani Laumape scored in the corner and Ardie Savea went over from a rolling maul.
Hurricanes 41 (Dane Coles, James Marshall, TJ Perenara, Blade Thomson, Ngani Laumape, Ardie Savea tries; Beauden Barrett 4 cons, pen)
Force 6 (Peter Grant 2 pens)