Chiefs prevail against Force despite injuries
Once again, the Chiefs found themselves playing in a Friday night thriller, this time against the Western Force at Pukekohe.
The home side had bad news just before kick-off when Gareth Anscombe was ruled out with an ankle injury for up to six weeks, which meant bringing Robbie Robinson in at fullback and playing Patrick Osborne on the left wing.
Another big replacement was Tawera Kerr- Barlow, back from a lengthy period of injury.
A lot of the Western Force players were unknown to me.
However, I was aware of a large Kiwi brigade, especially established players like Alby Mathewson, Wellington-born prop Pek Cowan, and former Taranaki player Jayden Hayward.
The game started with a lot of kicking, as both teams tried to establish a good attacking position.
The Force was the first team to break the defence and score.
I was a little doubtful about whether a pass from Ben McCallam to Patrick Dellit went forward, however, the try was awarded.
After a few minutes of great entertaining play by the forwards, picking and driving towards the line, finally the Chiefs had enough players to allow Lelia Masaga in for the try.
The rest of the game the Force kept on attacking our line and managed to score two more tries.
A crucial part on the game occurred when the Chiefs were camped under the Force’s goalposts.
The Force conceded three penalties until eventually a player was sin-binned.
What I was rather annoyed about was the fact that the Chiefs didn’t make use of their one-man advantage to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Surely, a penalty try should have been awarded after all the infringements.
Although the game was fairly boring, the Chiefs still won, which is the main point, to remain on the top of table.
Other impressive team results over the weekend were the Reds easily accounting for the Sharks.
Will Genia and Quade Cooper are in great form leading into the Lions tour.
Even though I don’t particularly like Quade Cooper, I think he should be the test incumbent on form.
The Hurricanes and Blues both had great results, earning bonus points to keep them firmly in the running.
Poor old Highlanders – they just can’t seem to get anything right this season, losing to the Southern Kings.
It seems to me that they play really well and then throw it all away with some stupid mistakes.
All the players seem to be at fault.
Jamie Joseph, who has done so well in the last two years, must be tearing what is left of his hair out.
Congratulations to Hinuera A for their 27– 16 win over Putaruru.
The Bs also had a win over Putaruru.