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Another low for Western Force as McKenzie-inspired Chiefs run amok

Chiefs' Damian McKenzie goes on the attack against Western Force (Photo by Michael Bradley/Getty Images)

The Western Force’s disappointing Super Rugby Pacific campaign has hit another low point, thrashed 56-7 by a merciless Chiefs outfit. It proved easy work for the Chiefs, with the hosts taking the lead inside two minutes and rarely taking their foot off the gas in the nine-tries-to-one beating in Hamilton on Saturday.


The performance left Force captain Jeremy Williams at a loss for words, lamenting his side’s shocking early ill-discipline. They conceded seven unanswered penalties in the opening 25 minutes as the Chiefs took control.

“Really tough, I don’t really have (many) words for that,” Williams told Sky Sport. “We were our own worst enemy with our discipline and piggy-backing them into our 22m. They just capitalised on it.

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“I definitely thought at the back of that first half we gained a bit of momentum. But then we came out in the second half and struggled to slow their ruck speed, they just played on top of us.”

Chiefs winger Daniel Rona was the biggest beneficiary of the Force’s soft defence with an impressive hat-trick.

Super Rugby Pacific
56 - 7
All Stats and Data

The bottom-ranked Force’s poor away record against the New Zealand-based sides never looked like being overturned as their season record dropped to 2-8. They have lost all three of their encounters across the ditch – by an average margin of 32 points.

A Damian McKenzie penalty and a try in each corner for wingers Emoni Narawa and Rona had the visitors on the ropes in just 14 minutes. When All Blacks playmaker McKenzie crossed untouched off a scrum play soon after, alarm bells were truly ringing.


The visitors only found their feet in the contest when their pack forced a penalty try on the half-hour that saw Chiefs flanker Kaylum Boshier yellow-carded for collapsing the maul as it rolled towards the line.

But any hope of a comeback was quashed when Bradley Slater punched in an early second-half try for the Chiefs from a lineout maul.

The Chiefs ran rampant late, scoring three tries in the last 11 minutes as the wheels really fell off for the visitors. McKenzie was in sparkling form, with his fancy footwork helping him run rings against the Force and create the bulk of his side’s attacking opportunities.

The Chiefs’ win backed up their 38-22 triumph against the NSW Waratahs last weekend. “It’s awesome to be back at home in front of our fans and to put it in a performance like that tonight that I’m very proud of,” Chiefs captain Kaylum Boshier told Sky Sport.


“(But) there are always things we can work on. This season we have sort of been up and down and to put two games back-to-back like we have, we are very proud of that.”

The Force return to Perth after their two-game trip to NZ, set for a two-game homestand against the Fijian Drua and the NSW Waratahs.


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