Western Force suffer third consecutive Super Rugby thumping by New Zealanders

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Nick TaylorThe West Australian
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The Western Force have been thumped by the Chiefs.
Camera IconThe Western Force have been thumped by the Chiefs. Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Western Force’s slim hopes of reaching the Super Rugby Pacific finals were blown away by a rampant Chiefs in a 54-21 battering defeat in Waikato.

The Force were looking to restore some pride after their 53-15 and 61-10 thumpings by the Crusaders and Highlanders.

Instead, they were left with the embarrassment of being only the second side in Super Rugby history to concede more than 50 points in three consecutive games since the Sunwolves six years ago.

They have now lost seven games in a row with 25 consecutive defeats to New Zealand teams.

They are Australia’s worst-performing team, languishing in 10th, and face a tough finish to the season with two games in five days against Moana Pasifika and the Hurricanes.

Coach Tim Sampson said the results showed the gulf between the Force and the leading Kiwi sides.

But he admitted they were their own worst enemy.

“It showed where we are at with the amount of All Blacks and experience they have compared to the number of international players that we have,” Sampson said.

“Our errors and ill-discipline handed them field position, handed them freebies. Full stop.

“They are very powerful, they have a very good strike rate but we put ourselves under pressure.

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 21: Izack Rodda of the Force passes the ball during the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Chiefs and the Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato on May 21, 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Camera IconIzack Rodda of the Force passes the ball during the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Chiefs and the Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato. Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

“They were good in their maul and set piece. They scored on the back of that.”

The Force had no answer to a dominant Chiefs scrum or their attack that ripped them open in the eight-try rout.

And they had no solution to the line speed of the Chiefs defence.

The Force were hit by an early barrage, the home side running in three tries in 30 minutes and racking up 60 per cent possession, almost all of it in the Force half.

They hit through the middle dragging in Force players to slow up their defensive line before going wide.

The Force scrambled desperately but put themselves under further pressure with poor kicking while initial ball movement was laboured and lateral.

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 21: Izack Rodda of the Force charges forward during the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Chiefs and the Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato on May 21, 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Camera IconIzack Rodda of the Force charges forward during the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Chiefs and the Western Force at FMG Stadium Waikato. Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Only in the last 10 minutes of the first half did they finally find any momentum with close forwards play and finally winning contact at the breakdown.

But after the break they were blown off the ball and at times their inside channels were shredded.

Chiefs centre Quinn Tupaea scored a hat-trick, prop Samisoni Taukei’aho grabbed two and his front-row partner Aiden Ross, full-back Kaleb Trask and second-rower Tupou Vaa’i each added one.

They converted seven.

Force winger Toni Pulu crossed in the first-half and after the break second-rower Jeremy Thrush and reserve scrum-half Michael McDonald added one each, all three were converted.

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