Waikato opened their defence of the Ranfurly Shield with a 13-try 85-0 victory over Horowhenua-Kapiti in Morrinsville on Wednesday.
Flanker Whetu Douglas grabbed the first try in the opening moments of the game and was swiftly followed over the line by Chiefs scrum-half Brendon Leonard in his final match for Waikato ahead of a move to Italy at the end of the Super Rugby season. New Zealand Under-20 winger Joe Webber then racked up a hat-trick of tries before centre Dylan Collier notched Waikato's sixth try to propel his side to a 40-0 lead at half-time.
Lock Romana Graham was the first to cross after the break before Collier claimed his second to take the hosts through the half century mark. Lock Brian Alainu'uese kept the scoreboard ticking over and a raft of changes did little to rob Waikato of momentum with replacements Glen Robertson (2) and Hame Faiva dotting down.
Waikato's next Shield defence is an away match against East Coast in Ruatoria on July 30.