Chiefs too strong for Canes in Mangatainoka
The Chiefs have beaten the Hurricanes 25-21 in the preseason game in Mangatainoka.
The defending Super Rugby champions out scored the Hurricanes four tries to three in a mistake-ridden but entertaining match.
Though the Chiefs had the better of the match and led throughout it took a late penalty from fullback Gareth Anscombe to make the game safe.
The Hurricanes made a late bid to keep their unbeaten preseason record in tact with tries to flankers Ardie Savea and Faifili Levave in the final quarter in front of 5000 fans.
The Chiefs led 10-0 at the break after tries to halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow and wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma.
The Hurricanes were intent on running the ball from everywhere with captain Conrad Smith leading the charge.
However their accuracy left a little to be desired with handling errors and turnovers ending a number of promising moves.
Clean breaks from prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and wing Matt Proctor were squandered.
The Chiefs were less adventurous but more successful despite Hika Elliott being sinbinned.
Kerr-Barlow scored from a quick tap after 15 minutes and Tikoirotuma scooted in off a pass from hooker Hika Elliot on half an hour.
Proctor and Toomaga-Allen both left the field with what appeared to be head knocks.
After the break the Chiefs were in again when second five-eighth Bundee Aki slipped through the Hurricanes backine to make it 17-0.
Wing Julian Savea gave the locals something to cheer about when Lee-Lo bumped off Aki to provide the final pass.
Then centre Tim Nanai-Williams scored after a nice behind the back pass gave him space to make it 22-7 with 25 minutes to play.
Then the Hurricanes came to life with a wave of substitutes helping the cause.
The spark was flanker Ardie Savea who tore into his first tackle and seemed to turn the momentum.
He scored himself by muscling through lock Ross Filipo and when Faifili Levave smashed his way 10 metres to the line it was 22-21 with 10 to play.
It may have been a pre season math but the Chiefs weren't about to lose at the death and Anscombe knocked over a penalty to provide a buffer that remained til full time.
Chiefs 25 (Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Asaeli Tikoirituma, Bundee Aki, Tim Nanai-Williams tries, Gareth Anscombe con, pen) Hurricanes 21 (Julian Savea, Ardie Savea, Faifili Levave tries, Beauden Barrett con, James Marshall 2 cons) HT: 10-0 Chiefs