Super Rugby log leaders the Rebels of Australia got a rude awakening when New Zealand outfit the Hurricanes beat them 50-19 in Melbourne Australia.
Despite the loss, the Rebels remain top of the log ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches.
The Rebels are this season’s surprise performers and faced their biggest test so far.
Before the game they only faced Australian and South African opposition and the result in Melbourne is once again an early indication of the gap between Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby sides.
The home side managed to be competitive in the first half and even led 19-18 just before the break.
But a try from the Hurricanes on the stroke of halftime opened the floodgates.
It was a one way traffic in the second half as the homeside failed to score a single point while the Hurricanes scored four tries.
It gave the New Zealanders a bonus point and they moved to the top of the New Zealand conference ahead of Saturday’s matches.
The Hurricanes are also just one point behind the Rebels on the overall log with a game in hand. And in Waikato, New Zealand, the Chiefs beat the Highlanders 27-22.
The Chiefs also scored a try shortly before the halftime break to swing the momentum in their favour.
The Chiefs extended their lead to 20-points to seven early in the second half but to their credit the Highlanders came back and even took the lead with about fifteen minutes left.
The Chiefs however hit back almost immediately and managed to hold on to their advantage until the end of the game.