If wondering how irrelevant week one of the Super Rugby season can be, the Hurricanes won't have far to look to find a relevant example.

Twelve months ago, while kicking off their campaign in Canberra, the Hurricanes were smashed 52-10 by the Brumbies and labelled by former Wallaby Phil Kearns as "fat, slow and unfit". They, of course, eventually won the competition.

So having begun the new season by scoring 13 tries in an hour to demolish the Sunwolves 83-17, it will be easy for the Hurricanes to retain some perspective from such a flattering result.

Yes, they earned the biggest away victory in Super Rugby history, but as Michael Fatialofa explained, the result hardly required a flawless performance from 1-15.


"As a forward pack, we played our part, but we didn't have to do much," the lock admitted. "We would probably do one carry and then the backs would score."

That was an accurate description of the opening 60 minutes in Tokyo, which at times felt akin to watching a highlights reel. And while the Hurricanes' execution was clean and their skills were sharp, it must be remembered the Sunwolves missed 43 tackles while making only 91.

It's stating the obvious to say the Hurricanes won't encounter another defence that generous and being only slightly impudent to suggest their season proper starts next weekend, when they host the Rebels.

Even then, it will take far more than the opening strides to know whether this marathon will end in repeated success, but the early signs were certainly promising.

"We're really delighted with the way the team played," said assistant coach John Plumtree. "The way we attacked space, we put the Sunwolves under a lot of pressure."

There were a couple of negatives from the trip to Japan. Wing Cory Jane missed the match after suffering a neck injury at the captain's run, while No 8 Blade Thompson was forced off by a shoulder injury, with both men requiring further assessment to reveal the extent of the damage.

The Hurricanes showed last year they possessed a strong enough squad to cope with the inevitable injuries incurred during an 18-game season but, similar to how that first-up Brumbies result was eventually proven meaningless, Plumtree was keen for his team to make 2016 a distant memory.

"Obviously the challenges are going to be a lot greater coming up than what we faced [on Saturday] but everything we do, we're just trying to do better."