Super Rugby Aupiki: Ruby Tui's return sees Chiefs Manawa kick off new season with victory over Hurricanes Poua

Chiefs Manawa began Super Rugby Aupiki in style, proving too much for Hurricanes Poua with a 46-24 victory in Saturday's season opener.  

After falling short in last year's final, the Chiefs showed exactly why they're expected to lift the title in 2024, running in seven tries to three to overpower a fresh-faced Hurricanes outfit.  

Black Ferns pair Kennedy Simon and Luka Connor both managed two apiece, while the returning Ruby Tui lit up Hamilton's FMG Stadium with a long-range stunner that left the Hurricanes with little answers.

To their credit, having named 10 debutants in their side, the Hurricanes held firm until halftime, trailing 19-14, before the Chiefs' quality told. 

But second-half efforts to Tui, Connor, and wing Merania Paraone saw the Chiefs outscore their opponents 27-10, and cruise home for a bonus-point victory to start the new season. 

Chiefs Manawa 46 (Maaka, Simon 2, Tui, Connor 2, Paraone tries; Holmes 5 conversions; Holmes penalty)

Hurricanes Poua 24 (King, Sae, Edwards tries; Waterman 2, Takitimu-Cook conversions; Takitimu-Cook penalty)