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Hawke's Bay retained the Ranfurly Shield in emphatic fashion

Hawke's Bay retained the Ranfurly Shield in emphatic fashion with a six-try 41-0 thumping of Otago in Napier.

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The hosts dished out a rugby lesson to Otago, who were 19-0 down after just nine minutes and never recovered.

Victory also lifted Hawke's Bay into third on the ITM Cup championship ladder and back into race for the semi-finals.

Hawke's Bay played some sublime rugby in the opening 40 minutes with left winger Shannon Chase in the thick of the action.

Chase was involved in three of the five first-half tries in addition to scoring one himself " and all on his debut.

Right winger Ryan Tongia had bagged a brace after just six minutes before openside flanker Brendon O'Connor finished off another excellent counter-attack to claim his side's third.

Chase crossed the whitewash in the 26th minute and Otago full-back Trent Renata's nightmare game got worse when Richard Buckman slipped his tackle to dot down for a fifth.

The tries dried up in the second half and an Ihaia West penalty was all the hosts had to show for their efforts until the 74th minute when replacement prop Jason Long barged over by the posts.

Another wasted try-scoring chance three minutes from time capped off a sorry afternoon for Otago, who had not been kept scoreless in a provincial match since 1983 against Auckland.

A hat-trick for winger Joe Webber was the highlight of Waikato's 26-21 victory against Counties Manukau in the day's other match.

It was Counties third defeat in a row and it leaves last year's semi-finalists off the pace in the race for the premiership top four.

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