MELBOURNE, June 14 (Reuters) - Winger Shaun Stevenson scored a hat-trick of tries as the Waikato Chiefs routed the Melbourne Rebels 59-8 to storm into the Super Rugby playoffs while ending the shell-shocked Australian team’s season on Friday.
A week after the champion Canterbury Crusaders doled out a 66-0 humiliation of the Rebels in Christchurch, the Chiefs piled on more misery with a nine-try demolition at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Stevenson grabbed an intercept try in the first half and crossed twice in the second, with Sam Cane, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jack Debreczeni, Martin McKenzie and Lachlan Boshier grabbing the other tries.
The Rebels had their sole try in the 67th minute through lock Matt Philip, as their playoffs hopes dissolved with three successive defeats.
The Chiefs will await the results of other matches to determine their quarter-final opponents. (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)