Chiefs overpower Force in try-feast

The Waikato Chiefs ran in nine tries to beat the Western Force 64-36 in a highly entertaining Super 14 match in Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday.

Winger Roy Kinikinilau and replacement scrumhalf Brendon Leonard claimed hat tricks to help keep the Chiefs’ semifinal hopes alive and hit the Perth-based team’s chances of reaching the playoffs.

The Australian side started brightly and scored the first try when lock Nathan Sharpe finished off a flowing move.

Kinikinilau grabbed the hosts’ first try when he intercepted a pass and ran almost the length of the field to touch down, but flyhalf Matt Giteau kept the Force ahead with the first of his two tries.

The Chiefs then struck a purple patch with three quick tries to establish a 29-15 lead at halftime.

Winger Lelia Masaga, Leonard and Kinikinilau took advantage of sloppy Force defence to gallop over the line, but the Australian side maintained a foothold in the match straight after the interval with a try by winger Cameron Shepherd.

Flanker Tanera Latimer and centre Tasesa Lavea went over for Waikato, the Force hit back through fullback Drew Mitchell and Leonard grabbed his second try after breaking through a weak tackle.

Giteau produced a sublime piece of skill to jink his way over for the Force’s fifth try but the Chiefs had the last word with Kinikinilau and Donald completing their hat-tricks in a frenetic end to the game.

The Chiefs climbed to fifth in the standings with three matches left, one place below a semi-final berth and one above the Force who are fading after a bright start to their second season in the Super 14 competition. ‒ Reuters


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