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    Chiefs beat Force in Perth scrap

    2017-04-22 14:41

    Cape Town - The Chiefs ended their tour on a high with a hard-fought 16-7 victory over the Force in Perth on Saturday. 

    The teams battled to get going as they committed a plethora of unforced errors which meant there was little continuity and both sides eventually scored a try apiece.

    The result means the Chiefs have only lost one of their eight games in this year's competition, an impressive record for the Waikato side.

    The Force played their hearts out but couldn't make it three from three at home as the Chiefs made it nine wins out of 11 against the Perth-based side. 

    The result also means that Australian sides have not beaten a New Zealand side in 13 consecutive games. 

    The Chiefs started off in typical fashion, attacking from the onset.

    Aaron Cruden made a classy break after receiving from a poor Dane Haylett-Petty kick before switching the ball to the left where it finally ended up in Liam Messam's hands and he had the easy task of dotting down in the seventh minute.

    Cruden added the extras to give the away side an early 7-0 lead.

    Handling errors from the Chiefs prevented them from extending their lead despite dominating territory and possession. Despite being in attacking mode, they had already made four handling errors in the opening twenty minutes.

    The Force were dealt a blow when their star fullback, Haylett-Petty, pulled his hamstring and was substituted for Alex Newsome in the 21st minute. Both sides then went through a poor phase of making handling errors and this affected the flow of the game.

    The Force defence showed their resilience in the face of some probing attacks from the Chiefs who continued to dominate territory and possession.

    One of the Force's tactics was to relieve the pressure through tactical kicking, which was not always accurate and this allowed the Chiefs to launch several counter-attacks. But the Force continued to hold their own.

    In fact, they got a try of their own after Dominic Bird was penalised for hands in the ruck. The home side opted for touch from the resulting penalty. The lineout was won by Lewis Carmichael before they timed their rolling maul to perfection as flank Matt Hodgson went over with ease. Ian Prior added the extras to equal the score at 7-7.

    The Force were lucky to go into the break at 7-7 after Chiefs prop Siegfried Fisi’ihoi somehow contrived to knock the ball on when attempting to dot down after some persistent pressure from the away side.

    Richard Hardwick was then penalised for going off his feet at the ruck early in the second half and Cruden kicked the resulting penalty to give the Chiefs a 10-7 lead.

    The Chiefs, however, continued to make too many unforced errors which hampered their game. Cruden extended the lead to 13-7 with his second penalty on 55 minutes.

    The visitors, who have the highest percentage of lineouts won in the competition and are usually consistent in this regard were guilty of losing a number of their balls at the set-piece in this match.

    Cruden kicked another penalty, after Force substitute Francois van Wyk was penalised, to extend the Chiefs' lead to nine points and that's how it stayed until the end.

    Scorers:

    Force:

    Try: Matt Hodgson
    Con: Ian Prior  

    Chiefs:

    Try: Liam Messam
    Con: Aaron Cruden
    Pens: Cruden (3)

    Teams

    Force

    15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Curtis Rona, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Luke Burton, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Isi Maisarani, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Lewis Carmichael, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley

    Substitutes: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Pek Cowan, 19 Onehunga Havilli, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Alex Newsome

    Chiefs

    15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Sam McNicol, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam , 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi 

    Substitutes: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Toni Pulu

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