Tamanivalu and Chiefs crush Western Force 53-10
The Chiefs were at the very best last night beating their Australian counterparts Western Force 53-10 in Hamilton, New Zealand. The Chiefs led 12-10 at the break but powered across for seven of their nine tries in a lopsided second spell. Chiefs inside centre Charlie Ngatai scored four.
The Chiefs have pounced on more second-half wobbles from the Force to romp to a 53-10 win and ensure they stay top of Super Rugby’s Australasian group. The home side led 12-10 at halftime in Hamilton last night but powered across for seven of their nine tries in a lop-sided second spell, including four to second five-eighth Charlie Ngatai. Coming off a successful tour of South Africa and Argentina, it extends the Chiefs’ winning streak to three. It was a third successive loss for the hapless Force and mirrored their 41-6 thumping from the Hurricanes last week, when their defence evaporated late. The winning margin was a record for the Chiefs against the Western Australian outfit, while Ngatai equalled the franchise record for tries in a game, moving level with former wingers Sitiveni Sivivatu and Asaeli Tikoirotuma. A heavy travel schedule and mounting injury toll didn’t hamper the two-time champions. They played at high speed from the opening whistle, and their classy backline thrived off a quality Chiefs forward effort led by Japan captain Michael Leitch at No.8. Fullback Damian McKenzie crossed twice to extend his competition-leading tryscoring tally to six. He also leads the point-scoring list with 85 despite an off-night with the boot, landing three from eight shots at goal. The Chiefs have established themselves as the competition entertainers after conjuring 28 tries in their first five games. The visitors’ plight was summed up when the Chiefs chased down what seemed to be a certain Force intercept try to Solomoni Rasolea, who lost his nerve and passed, resulting in a breakdown in play. McKenzie bagged his second try and Ngatai his last two before the final points were claimed by Stephen Donald.
The former All Blacks first five-eighth was greeted by an enormous roar when he nudged over the game’s last conversion, having come off the bench in his first Chiefs appearance since 2011.
PICTURED: Fijian-born Seta Tamanivalu (standing second from left) who was part of the victorious team last night, celebrates one of Charlie Ngatai’s four tries.