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Super Rugby: Hurricanes score six tries in 45-8 win over Chiefs
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Hurricanes stormed into fourth place in the Super Rugby standings with a shock 45-8 victory, including six tries, against defending champions Chiefs at the WestPac Stadium on Saturday.
All Blacks winger Julian Savea dotted down twice while there were also tries from Ben Franks, Andre Taylor, Jack Lam and Brad Shields as the Wellington-based franchise outclassed the reigning champions.
There were also 15 points from the boot of fly-half Beauden Barrett, who offered a peerless kicking display with six conversions and a penalty in testing conditions.
The Chiefs' only points of the match came courtesy of a Gareth Anscombe penalty and a Liam Squire as they lost pace on league leaders Sharks, who shut down the Blues in Auckland on Friday.
Dave Rennie's side made a fine start and looked dangerous in possession; lock Michael Fitzgerald making an early break before Anscombe slotted them in front with the first penalty of the match.
Their lead was short-lived with Savea piercing their defensive line before offering a flat pass to Taylor, who raced over the whitewash and Barrett added the extras.
A period of sustained pressure on the Hurricanes defence led to the Chiefs regaining the lead with Squire touching down, although their advantage was quickly written off once more.
With the Chiefs defence scrambling, the Hurricanes drove their way towards the line before spreading wide to prop Franks, who forced his way over to complete a fine team move.
Mark Hammett's side extended their lead on the half-hour mark as Alapati Leiua released supporting runner Savea, who flew over for a third try and Barrett added a third conversion as the Hurricanes took a commanding 21-8 lead into the break.
The Chiefs continued to contribute to their own downfall following the restart as Sam Cane was penalised for using hands in the ruck and Barrett made no mistakes from the kicking tee.
Super Rugby's leading try-scorer added a bonus-point score on 50 minutes as Cory Jane set-up fellow winger Savea to run in his second of the night and the Hurricanes' 40th try of the campaign.
A yellow card for replacement Reggie Goodes after he was caught offside offered the Chiefs a comeback opportunity, but instead they surrendered their personnel advantage as lock Brodie Retallick was also sin-binned.
The Chiefs' defensive frailties were exposed again on the hour as the Hurricanes drove their way over the line and Lam celebrated his 50th appearances with a try and Barrett retained his perfect record with a fifth conversion.
Replacement forward Shields completed the rout nine minutes before time as he darted for the line after a successful Hurricanes scrum.
The hosts thought they had a seventh when substitute Ardie Savea crossed in the closing stages but his effort was ruled out for an early forward pass.
There was no resistance from the Chiefs, who ended the match having conceded 38 unanswered points as they dropped out of the play-off positions.Super 15. Click here to bet.