Chiefs too strong for Force

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Six unanswered second half Chiefs tries consigned  the Western Force to a 53-10 defeat on Saturday night.

It was deja vu for the Force as they watched a competitive first half effort slip away in the back half for the second straight week.

The Chiefs have travelled 30,000km, the most of any team so far this season, but fatigue proved no barrier for the Kiwis in their late blitz.

The Western Force had their chances early with 92 per cent of possession in the opening 13 minutes, as they put together 14 consecutive phases.

The Chiefs defence held strong and the Force were unable to make the most of their possession.

That inability to capitalise came back to haunt the Force with Chiefs fullback Damian McKenzie scoring the opening try against the run of play.

The Force persevered in attack with young winger Semesi Masirewa continually looking dangerous with the ball in hand.

The Force hit back in the 25th minute through new recruit Ben Tapuai, who collected an impressive inside ball from halfback Alby Mathewson.

The Chiefs pounced on the slightest of chances, epitomized when number 8 Michael Leitch gave the Chiefs the lead just shy of the break, their first half-time buffer of the year.

Force backrower Angus Cottrell was sent to the bin the 57th minute for a dangerous tackle and that’s when the Chiefs pounced.

Four tries to Charlie Ngatai equalled the Super Rugby record as the Chiefs streaked away to the 43-point win.

Force coach Michael Foley will rue his side’s early chances, but ultimately the WA side lacked the attacking flare required to stop the Chiefs.

The Force will look to regroup ahead of their final New Zealand tour match next Friday against 2015 Super Rugby champions the Highlanders.