The Chiefs slumped to their fourth loss of Super Rugby Aotearoa against the Hurricanes, growing pressure on Lions coach Warren Gatland.

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The Hurricanes led 20-6 at halftime on the back of a long range penalty by Jordie Barrett after the hooter. A frustrated Chiefs assistant Neil Barnes labelled the penalty decision as ‘shitty’ during the break in a fiery halftime report.

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Dan Carter talks to media after playing club rugby in Christchurch

Despite Hurricanes lock Scott Scrafton missing 30 minutes of the second half with a yellow card followed by a red one, the winless Chiefs could not reign in the large deficit going down 25-18 after a fight back in the last quarter.

New Zealand fans questioned why the All Blacks would need “Warrenball” tactics while South Africans quizzed whether this is what they will see next year from the touring Lions. Another called this Chiefs side ‘the worst since the 2000s’.

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Gatland’s lean streak with the Chiefs contrasts with the early season start which saw the side defeat the defending champion Crusaders while also mounting a second-half comeback to defeat the Blues at Eden Park.

Those promising victories seem a lifetime ago now with losses to the Highlanders, Blues, Crusaders and now Hurricanes completing a ‘Grand Slam of losses’ in the New Zealand conference.

Stuff‘s writer Paul Cully wrote that ‘Gatland cut an increasingly anxious figure in the coaching box as his attack continued to splutter’ in a piece proclaiming the wheels have fallen off the Chiefs.

Gatland’s side now gets some respite with the bye next week allowing the team to regroup and look to become spoilers in the second half of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

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