Chiefs pre­vail against Force de­spite in­juries

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport - By STEVEN SA­MUELS

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.

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