Cruden inspires Chiefs success
The Chiefs produced a superb second-half display to secure a comprehensive 33-14 Super 15 victory over the Hurricanes at Waikato Stadium.
The visitors scored the game's opening try through Andre Taylor to get back to 12-8 at half-time after fly-half Aaron Cruden had kicked four penalties for the Chiefs.
But Lelia Masaga, Arizona Taumalolo and Toby Smith crossed for home tries in the second period and Cruden converted all three for a personal haul of 18 points, while his Hurricanes counterpart Beauden Barrett could only manage three successful penalties on an indifferent night with the kicking tee.
The victory saw the Chiefs move to 39 points and cement their position atop the Super 15 table.
The Hurricanes, fourth in the New Zealand standings, are now faced with the prospect of their season slipping away.
Western Force's disappointing season continued with a 17-3 defeat to the Stormers.
In the Force's first game since coach Richard Graham's abrupt departure, they were no match for a Stormers side which cruised to victory in torrential rain at nib Stadium thanks to tries to Bryan Habana and Peter Grant.
The Highlanders, meanwhile, snatched a dramatic late 36-33 victory after staging a stunning second-half comeback against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Replacement fly-half Chris Noakes finished with 17 points for the victors.