That's two All Blacks brushed aside with impunity, another waits on Friday.

Under normal circumstances, Tawera Kerr-Barlow might not have expected much of a run against the Blues and their pair of international nines, Alby Mathewson and Piri Weepu.

The Chiefs don't do normal circumstances, however, and a long-term hamstring injury to Brendon Leonard has cleared the way for Kerr-Barlow to realise the potential spotted in him as a schoolboy star in Hamilton.

Kerr-Barlow was one of the Chiefs best as they ran the Blues ragged at Waikato Stadium on Friday night. His Moses-like qualities constantly parted the Blue sea and seven runs, including three linebreaks, accumulated 85 metres.


Only fullback Robbie Robinson, who ran for 93m, had a more profitable night with the ball in hand.

Mathewson and to a lesser extent Weepu were made to look ordinary by comparison. Now he has a chance to travel to Napier and take on the Crusaders and Andy Ellis, the man who replaced Weepu during last year's World Cup final.

Kerr-Barlow said he would not get any extra motivation from the status of his next opponent.

"Nah, not really," he said. "Even playing against Piri and Alby, two great players, I try not to think about it. They're just another player and I try not to let it overawe me.

"But it's obviously an awesome opportunity to play against players of that calibre."

The Chiefs should not be short on confidence, having leap-frogged the Crusaders into second in the New Zealand conference on the back of contrasting results. While the Crusaders were pipped by the Highlanders in a pulsating indoor contest, the Chiefs defied a lack of possession (36 per cent), a horribly lopsided penalty count (5-15) and some some atrocious conditions (steady rain) to beat the Blues.

They did it by creating gaps and finding support runners. It's not as complicated as Newton's Third Law, but it was brutally effective.

"The forwards laid the platform," Kerr-Barlow said, giving the front eight their obligatory nod. "We worked really hard this week at getting players on our ball-carriers earlier and being a bit more organised in that area."

Kerr-Barlow has played 13 games for the Chiefs, most of them in short bursts off the bench.

"Before the game I was really nervous. I was happy with my performance on the whole.

"There was obviously a couple of things I still need to work on. A couple of my kicks weren't great," he said.

Although the evidence contradicted it, Kerr-Barlow said running was very much his second option against the Blues.

"The coaches just told me to go out there and try to be vocal with the forwards and organise them. I didn't go out there planning to run. It was probably the opposite. I was looking to pick out my forwards and players outside me. The gaps just opened up, it was one of those days."

He'd be the first to concede he's not the finished product. And if he did start to get ahead of his station, he's got coach Dave Rennie to pull him back.

"He did a lot of things fantastically well," Rennie said. "He was a threat with the ball in hand and was able to create space through running or using people around him.

"He did some some great kicks but there was a few he wouldn't mind having again."