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The Chiefs stormed to a 33-14 victory over the Hurricanes to extend their lead at the top of the New Zealand Conference and move to the top of the Super Rugby table.
Aaron Cruden kicked 18 points for the hosts, and Lelia Masaga, Arizona Taumalolo and Toby Smith completed the scoring for the Chiefs.
Full-back Andre Taylor scored the Hurricanes' only try of the game on the 34th minute. Beau Barrett missed the conversion but did kick three penalties.
His try means prop Taumalolo continues his remarkable try-scoring record, touching down for the seventh time in nine matches.
Taumalolo burrowed over the Hurricanes' goal line in the 65th minute after Cruden had made a 40-meter break to put the Chiefs onto the attack. Cruden also had a hand in Waikato's final try, from Taumalolo's replacement Toby Smith, extending a winning streak which stretches back to the first week of the season.
The Chiefs were expected to face problems of fatigue as they returned home after an unbeaten three-match road trip to Australia and South Africa.
But they produced an outstanding ball-handling performance, particularly among their forwards, to dominate territory and control the match. Far from fading, they grew stronger as the match progressed and finished with tries to Taumalolo and Smith in the last 15 minutes.
Only one of the Chiefs' three tries was scored by a back. Winger Lelia Masaga scored their first in the 45th minute when he took the ball at first receiver on the openside of an attacking scrum and ghosted through a gap between scrumhalf T.J. Perenara and fly-half Beauden Barrett.
Cruden kicked his first four penalties in succession to give the Chiefs a 12-3 lead after 27 minutes, before the Hurricanes scored the opening try against the run of play to cut the lead to 12-8 at half-time.
Outstanding full-back Andre Taylor scored the try, also his seventh of the season, as a series of quick, long passes gave him space and he beat three tacklers.
Masaga's try gave the Chiefs a 19-8 lead early in the second half and, after the Hurricanes had closed to 19-14 with two penalties to Barrett, the finely honed try-scoring instinct of Taumalolo helped decide the match.
Cruden and replacement scrum-half Augustine Pulu made telling breaks in the move leading to Smith's try and Cruden added the conversion, his seventh goal from eight attempts.
"I'm just happy we could get a win and keep the ball rolling," said Waikato captain Craig Clarke, who played his 50th Super 15 match. "They're a very good team and we just wanted to hold the ball, which we did a bit, and kick a few penalties."
The Hurricanes lost for fifth time in nine matches.
"We were pretty happy with the way the first half went," Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said.
"A few things didn't go our way ... but we were still in the hunt. If anything they turned it up in the second half, and I think we fell away a bit which is a little bit annoying."
|Saturday 8th March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|15:05||Bulls vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 14th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Stormers|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Crusaders|
|Saturday 15th March|
|03:35||Hurricanes vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Western Force|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Waratahs|
|13:00||Lions vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Reds|
|Friday 21st March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|06:35||Blues vs Cheetahs|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Stormers|
|11:00||Western Force vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Lions vs Reds|
|17:10||Bulls vs Sharks|
|Friday 28th March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|Saturday 29th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Reds vs Stormers|
|13:00||Bulls vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Waratahs|
|Friday 4th April|
|07:35||Highlanders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Friday 7th March|
|Reds 43 - 33 Cheetahs|
|Hurricanes 21 - 29 Brumbies|
|Saturday 1st March|
|Bulls 25 - 17 Lions|
|Western Force 14 - 27 Brumbies|
|Waratahs 32 - 5 Reds|
|Chiefs 21 - 19 Highlanders|
|Friday 28th February|
|Stormers 19 - 18 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 35 - 14 Cheetahs|
|Blues 35 - 24 Crusaders|
|Sunday 23rd February|
|Waratahs 43 - 21 Western Force|
|Saturday 22nd February|
|Lions 34 - 10 Stormers|
|Sharks 27 - 9 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 17 - 27 Reds|
|Highlanders 29 - 21 Blues|
|Friday 21st February|
|Cheetahs 15 - 9 Bulls|
|Crusaders 10 - 18 Chiefs|
|Saturday 15th February|
|Sharks 31 - 16 Bulls|
|Cheetahs 20 - 21 Lions|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com