April 15, 2023
The Chiefs have rallied from 17-8 down at halftime to beat the Hurricanes 33-17 and return to the top of the Super Rugby Pacific ladder.
The match brought together the teams that occupied the tournament's top two spots at the start of the eighth round - but by the time it was played the ACT Brumbies had taken over first place by beating the Fijian Drua 43-28 on Friday.
The Chiefs are now back at the top of the ladder, where they have spent most of the season, with a 7-0 record.
They are level on championship points with the Brumbies (7-1) but ahead on points differential, while the Hurricanes now sit four points back in third.
A see-sawing first half eventually tipped in the Hurricanes' favour thanks to some outstanding attacking play but the Chiefs dominated after the break, holding the Hurricanes scoreless while adding three tries despite finishing the game with 13 men.
At halftime the Chiefs were instructed "to trust what we came into the game with", captain Brad Weber said.
"Coming off (last weekend's) bye it felt a little bit slow out of the blocks.
"But we just stuck with what has worked all season, told the boys to trust it and it would start coming and sure enough it did.
"The Hurricanes in that first 40, their attacking prowess was tough to stop and we're pretty happy with that second 40."
The Chiefs were strong at the start, with the Hurricanes barely seeing the ball during the first 10 minutes as the Chiefs scored the first try through Daniel Rona.
The Hurricanes received a series of five consecutive penalties that brought them into the match, giving them some possession and territory.
Backrower Devon Flanders scored their first try after a bustling run from hooker Asofa Aumua in the 12th minute.
Cam Roigard added a second after flanker Du Plessis Kirifi flattened the Chiefs' receiver Luke Jacobson at a re-start after a penalty.
The ball came free, went wide to Julian Savea and back to Roigard. Jordie Barrett's conversion completed the first half scoring.
The Chiefs came back at the start of the second and scored through backrower Pita Gus Sowakula to draw within two points at 17-15.
Damian McKenzie put the Chiefs ahead with a penalty before replacement halfback Cortez Ratima touched down after going alone from an attacking scrum.
The Chiefs lost five-eighth Bryn Gatland to the sin-bin for a head clash but still managed to stretch their lead with a 77th-minute try to McKenzie.