The Hurricanes have opened their account against the Chiefs in swift fashion by bursting through the opposition defence to score inside the opening minute of the match.
Hot on attack inside the Chiefs’ half after just a few dozen seconds, the visitors swung the ball wide from left to right after wing Salesi Rayasi made some hard-earned metres down FMG Stadium Waikato’s left-hand flank.
Halfback Luke Campbell hit a forward pod before then spreading the ball out wide further into the hands of teenage rookie Ruben Love.
The 19-year-old first-five then shovelled the ball onto the supporting Tyrel Lomax, who took the ball to the line and popped a deft, flat short ball to lock James Blackwell.
The tighthead prop’s pass put the second rower into acres of space as the Chiefs defenders didn’t see it coming, allowing Blackwell to canter into the hosts’ 22.
Chiefs trio Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber and Bryn Gatland all backtracked quickly in an attempt to stop Blackwell in his tracks, but Gatland was used as a turnstile as the lock stepped off his right foot to leave the playmaker in his wake.
Both Weber and McKenzie tried their hardest to drag Blackwell to the ground, but, with that much momentum behind the 1.90m, 107kg lock, there was no stopping him as he slid along the slippery Hamilton turf.
— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) April 23, 2021
With just under a minute on the clock, that try put the Hurricanes into an early 5-0 lead, but the two sides headed into the sheds locked up at 10-all.
The Hurricanes went into this match without any chances of qualifying for the Super Rugby Aotearoa final, while the Chiefs could seal their place in the May 8 finale with a bonus point win and if the Blues lose to the Crusaders on Sunday.
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