CHIEFS complete Hurricanes blowout
Super 12: Hurricanes v Chiefs, WestpacTrust Stadium
COW BELLS rang in victory while the home crowd sat silent and stunned after seeing the Hurricanes thrashed 51-27 by a rampant Chiefs squad.
Expecting the hometown Hurricanes to continue their charge to Super 12 glory with a fifth consecutive win the fans packed the stadium and were rewarded for their faith when after only three minutes quick hands and a Norm Hewitt pirouette enabled Paul Steinmetz to find the space to dash in to score the opening try.
However if it was meant to be a Hurricanes day someone forgot to tell the Chiefs and despite falling behind they promptly started to take control of the game and actually crossed the line three times before their dominance finally paid off in the 33rd minute when from a tap burly centre Keith Lowen scored to give the northerners a 10-5 lead with 1st five eighth David Hill's conversion.
At this stage the Chiefs pack with backrowers Deon Muir, Marty Holah and Jonno Gibbes especially prominant were allover the Hurricanes eight and after winning a turnover Holah broke clear beating several tacklers before passing to Muir who fed pacy wing Bruce Reihana who ran in a spectacular try.
From the kick-off following Hill's conversion the Chiefs attacked again and from a simply worked lefto Reihana scored his second to give his team a 22-5 half-time lead.
Maintaining their dominance up-front and holding a monopoly on possession and territory the Chiefs with a new pivot in Glen Jackson continued their form into the second half.
Jackson slotted a couple of penalties as the Hurricanes were forced into desperate defence and Reihana earned his hatrick of tries when pressure rugby
paid off allowing him to capitalise on a loose ball and sprint 50 metres to score.
At 35-5 the Hurricanes looked down and out but they regained some pride and proved their worth when tries to Brent Thompson, Jason Spice and Daryl Lilley - scored in a thrilling ten minute period - took the score to 38-27 and sparked a sense of possible revival.
Unfortunately time wasn't on the Hurricanes side and ten minutes of sublime skill wasn't enough to overtake a Chiefs team whose rugged forward domination and hard running backplay had earned a deserved lead.
And with two more Jackson penalties and a last minute Michael Collins try the Chiefs highlight their control by securing a very convincing 51-27 victory that will go a long way toward gaining them a semi-final berth.