Chiefs vs Force: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Execution is key

The Western Force had 92 per cent of the possession in the opening 13 minutes but were unable to put points on the board. The WA side were very much in the match at half time, down 12-10, but for the second straight week their opposition broke away in the second half. Force coach Michael Foley tried to cater for the second half fade this week, starting Wallaby backrower Ben McCalman on the bench to add some flair, but it wasn't enough. Their task doesn’t get any easier next week when they take on defending champions the Highlanders.

Damien McKenzie the next Milner-Skudder?

In 2015 it was Hurricanes back Nehe Milner-Skudder who broke on to the international scene will his trademark footwork and ball skills, capping off his year with a World Cup win. In the opening five weeks of Super Rugby, Chiefs fullback Damien McKenzie has led his side to four victories. McKenzie leads the competition in tries, points, carries and clean breaks and will definitely be on Steve Hansen’s radar come All Blacks time.

Shining light

It was a tough night for the Force but Michael Foley will be pleased with the progress his young Fijian winger Semesi Masirewa is showing. In a breakout match for the speedster, Masirewa racked up115 run meters as he continually broke tackles and added an extra dimension to the Force's attacking game plan.

Chiefs the real deal?

The Chiefs have gone around the world and then some in the opening month of Super Rugby as they notched up 30,000km. It hasn't seemed to worry them, with four wins from their opening five matches this season. They play an entertaining brand of Rugby that excites fans and despite numerous injuries sit comfortably on top of the New Zealand conference ladder.

Testing times for Force

The Force have recorded one win to start the season which was against a hapless Reds side. They are currently two weeks into a three-week tour of New Zealand and Michael Foley’s men are struggling to play out a match for 80 minutes. It's been a brutal start but they'll have to find something spectacular if they want to get a positive out of their trip across the ditch.

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