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In-Form Chiefs, Hurricanes Ready For More Razzle-Dazzle

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
In-Form Chiefs, Hurricanes Ready For More Razzle-Dazzle

Wellington, Feb 21 NZPA - Chiefs and Hurricanes fans look set to continue their Super 14 rugby glee as the high-flying sides eye more tryfests next weekend.

The two teams who have graced the competition final but never gone all the way remained unbeaten after a dizzy week two of season 2010 which saw tries aplenty, questionable defence and two upsets, when the Crusaders and Sharks were toppled by the Reds and Cheetahs.

After bonus point wins over the Lions and Force respectively, the Chiefs and Hurricanes trade opponents this weekend and both will be heavily favoured to claim five more competition points in Perth and Wellington against the sides already looking likely to fight out the wooden spoon.

Two other teams remained unbeaten, with defending champions the Bulls flying along at the head of the table after beating the Brumbies 50-32 -- to make it 101 points from two matches -- and the improving Stormers who quelled the Waratahs 27-6 at home.

The Chiefs rattled up nine tries and 72 points in Johannesburg, yet still conceded two bonus points to the Lions who roared home with nine tries of their own -- one to former All Black Carlos Spencer -- to finish within seven in a remarkable contest.

Their combined 137 points was comfortably a Super rugby record, topping the 118 scored when Natal beat the Highlanders 75-43 in Durban 13 years ago.

The only headache for Chiefs coach Ian Foster was the citing of his stand-in captain Sione Lauaki for an alleged spear tackle on Lions centre Deon van Rensburg, for which he was yellow carded by referee Marius Jonker.

He and Lions lock Willem Stolz (striking) were both summoned to face an Sanzar judicial hearing.

Despite returning from South Africa with a prized nine points, Foster was unhappy with his side's final quarter lapses which saw them given a fright after leading 72-25.

"In the 20 minutes after halftime, we played some really good rugby and won the game but we hit the wall physically and were guilty of a mental lapse. That was disappointing," Foster said.

Chiefs centre Richard Kahui made an early season statement as he eyes the All Blacks' No 13 jersey, bagging three tries. He was also wrongly handed a yellow card in a case of mistaken identity, with Tim Nanai Williams the actual transgressor. It saw the Chiefs down to 13 men at one point.

In Wellington, the Hurricanes raced in seven tries to beat an injury-ravaged Force 47-22.

All Black Tamati Ellison was prominent, laying on three tries himself including a double to recalled winger David Smith who got his chance due to Hosea Gear's injury.

The Force, who lost Wallabies forwards David Pocock and Richard Brown to injury last week, were in the game at 28-15 with 20 minutes remaining but three Hurricanes tries in nine minutes finished the job.

The result of the round was in Brisbane where new coach Ewen McKenzie's Reds stunned the Crusaders 41-20, ending a 10-match winless run against them.

After their opening round win over the Highlanders, the Crusaders fumbled and bumbled their way around Suncorp Stadium as Wallabies halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper were dynamic, the latter scoring two tries amid a 31-point haul.

In Dunedin, the Blues got their campaign under way by scraping home 19-15 against the Highlanders, with former southern man Paul Williams a key figure for the visitors with a double.

His second try was the turning point of the match when a Highlanders chargedown fell the Blues' way, leaving the hosts winless from two matches and travelling for a tricky match against the Cheetahs who upset the Sharks 25-20 in Durban.

The Blues cross the Tasman to take on the resurgent Reds on Saturday.

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