Chiefs and Canes on top

Super Rugby champions the Chiefs easily beat the Highlanders in a pre-season warm-up in Taupo and in Timaru the Canes edged the Crusaders.

The Chiefs won 36-14 in a match in which both teams used their All Blacks sparingly.

Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane only played the last 10 minutes and there were brief cameos for Aaron Cruden and Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

Hosea Gear captained the Highlanders and veteran Brad Thorn also enjoyed a 30 minute hit out with his new team.

The Hurricanes and Crusaders, mostly fielding teams with fringe players, used most of their squad members throughout the 80 minutes with the Canes triumphant 27-26.