Julian Savea bagged a brace as the Hurricanes thrashed the Chiefs 45-8 in Wellington, writes BRENTON CHELIN.
The defending champions were helpless to deal with the Hurricanes onslaught, suffering a record-breaking defeat that severely dents their hopes of defending their title.
The demolition started as early as the fifth minute as Savea broke clear before offloading for Andre Taylor to go over.
The Chiefs replied with a try of their own through Liam Squire in the 16th minute, but it would be the last time the Chiefs would trouble the scorer.
It was one-way traffic from then on as the Canes ran in five more unanswered tries in a massive statement of intent for their play-off aspirations.
Ben Franks was next on the scoresheet, strolling over after an overlap on the left flank before Savea grabbed his first with a searing run down the left touchline.
That try gave them a 21-8 lead at half-time and it was a lead that was never under threat.
Barrett kept the scoreboard ticking over just after half-time, before Savea claimed the bonus-point try after more great work by the backline.
Substitute hooker Reggie Goodes then received a yellow for the hosts, but the Chiefs were unable to get going in his absence.
The Hurricanes wrapped things up with tries from Jack Lam and Brad Shields as they handed the defending champions a hiding.
It sets things up for a cracking final few weeks in the New Zealand conference as the Crusaders and Hurricanes look set to battle it out for supremacy.
Chiefs – Try: Liam Squire. Penalty: Gareth Anscombe.
Hurricanes – Tries: Andre Taylor, Ben Franks, Julian Savea (2). Jack Lam, Brad Shields. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (6). Penalty: Barrett.
Chiefs – 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Subs: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Tom Marshall.
Hurricanes – 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Subs: 16 Reggie Goodes, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Reggies Goodes/Mike Kainga, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Tim Bateman, 23 Matt Proctor.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images