AUCKLAND - The Hurricanes grabbed their first home win of their Super Rugby season when they overcame the Sharks 42-18 in New Plymouth on Friday.
In a contest between two mid-table teams who had gone in with identical 3-3 win-loss records, the Hurricanes scored six tries to two, a margin that belied the threat the Sharks often showed with ball in hand.
But the visitors were hampered by a combination of their own infringements in attack and by some resilient Hurricanes defence.
The encounter was punctuated by a flare-up just after the half-hour which involved several players and led referee Glen Jackson to refer the whole incident to the citing commissioner.
Jackson also showed the white card to the two players whose actions sparked the melee - Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis and Hurricanes breakaway Karl Lowe.
Du Plessis had reacted to something that happened in a breakdown by striking Lowe's face with his right hand.
The Sharks began the match with plenty of intent and would have been frustrated to find themselves 25-3 down at halftime despite dominating territory and possession.
Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor continued his excellent form with the opening try after a superb 40-metre run.
The home side, who had lost twice in Wellington this season, crossed again when they grabbed a turnover deep in opposition territory and Lowe was driven over.
At halftime, Julian Savea dotted down for his first five-pointer for the Hurricanes.