SR: Force 18, Chiefs 15


The Western Force return home to take on the two-time defending champions, the Chiefs.

A big crowd is already building for Saturday’s clash, following the Western Australians’ consecutive bonus-point wins in their last two outings and the side is looking to continue that momentum against the unbeaten Chiefs. What has emerged from the past fortnight is that the Force can actually play a bit – producing outstanding efforts for a team that has barely secured two four-try bonus points in the last three years.

The opposition is obviously a step up on last week and they’ll suffer greatly with the loss of the competition’s form No.8, Ben McCalman. Just a solitary point separated them the last time the two sides met, with the Chiefs prevailing 22-21 in Pukekohe in Round 13 last year. This week the Force welcomes Wallaby forward Hugh McMeniman back from injury, as he returns at blindside flank. Angus Cottrell shifts to the back of the scrum in place of Wallaby No.8 Ben McCalman, who will miss the match after being suspended for a dangerous tackle against the Highlanders.

The Chiefs have made a number of changes to the side that defeated the Stormers last weekend, with lock Mike Fitzgerald and flank Sam Cane named in the forward pack, while wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma, utility Tim Nanai-Williams and club legend Mils Muliaina helping to form a new-look backline. Cane the sideline was the best place to assess progress. With his leg up, Cane was buoyed by his side’s performance against the Stormers last week. The Chiefs enjoyed a decent share of possession and, thus, displayed their lethal attacking abilities.

“We had two gutsy wins and, maybe, in other years we would have lost those,” Cane told the Waikato Times. “It’s pleasing to get those type of wins,” he said, adding: “We definitely enjoy scoring more tries, like we did against the Stormers.” Despite being unbeaten, assistant coach Wayne Smith made it clear the defending champions would not become complacent.

“This competition is all about keeping your feet on the ground. Past success doesn’t guarantee anything,” he said. “You’ve got to keep working on the character, attitude and spirit and keep improving your skill and decision-making execution. There’s a few more months of that yet.”

Recent results:
2013: Chiefs won 22-21, Pukekohe
2012: Chiefs won 20-12, Perth
2010: Chiefs won 37-19, Perth
2009: Chiefs won 31-13, Hamilton
2008: Force won 22-21, Perth
2007: Chiefs won 64-36, Hamilton


Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Marcel Brache.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Mils Muliaina, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. First scrum on the centre point of the field……Chiefs attack through backline….Chiefs spill and Force take the ball as they attack Chiefs backline…….

    Some tamping on a player from Force and ref turns penalty around….some nice attack from Froce

  2. Force going for poles…..

    missing the kick at poles and Chiefs try again to take it quickly and Force take it off…..

    Chiefs turnover on line and ball spill out for Force lineout

  3. From lineout…….force maul and then a break away but get bundled out in to touch but penalty Force and they setup a lineout….

    Force gets another penalty and they go again for lineout…..

    Force maul and …….

    OVER !!!!!! TRY !!!!!! Force Hodgson the man scoring the try….Stupid from Chiefs … trying to run from their own 22… respect will goes a long way….

    Score: Force 5-0 with 14 min gone

  4. Chiefs again trying to run out of their own 22 and turnover ball in the ruck for the Force Scrum Force……

    Force frim scrum conceded a penalty for going off their feet Chiefs look for touch

  5. That is half time with the Chiefs in the lead with 9-8…

    Force with all the play in the first half and putting the Chiefs under pressure but goes in to the dressing room behind with one point…..

    On The Stats side of things:

    Meters run…..Force 88 and Chiefs 92
    Carriers …..Force 31 and Chiefs 49
    Tackles made….Force 55 and Chiefs 31
    Handling errors …Force 3 and Chiefs 5

    Force do look good but it seems just a matter of time before the Chiefs is going to rip loose.

  6. Second half on the way ……

    Chiefs on attack…Force with turnover and kick down field with Chiefs running back at it but balls goes out for lineout Force…..

    Force kick down field and Chiefs run at them again…penalty Chiefs…..and they go for Poles

  7. Force kick down field after kick off and Chiefs attack from deep but they force them out and Force goes quickly and almost score at the other side of the field but Cummins step out as he goes for the line….

    Lineout Chiefs

  8. Chiefs mess up big time at lineout and knock the ball on as the scrum goes for the Force…..

    Good Scrum Force…..Force pick and drive…..

    Ball get turn over by Chiefs and gets penalty…

    Chiefs setup lineout

  9. Chiefs work their way back to the half way line with some nice interplay and passing …knock on Chiefs scrum…Chiefs run from scrum but Force steal ball and kick down field….

    Lineout on half way

  10. Who else is seeing how the Force is playing like the old 2009 Bulls…

    Ebersohn controls with good tactical kicking making Cruden look the ordinary overrated twab he reallly is, good jumpers sort out the poor New Zealand locks, and maul maul maul…

  11. A lot of kicking and Force kick over dead ball line scrum Chiefs inside Force half….

    Free kick Chiefs from scrum….and they choose a scrum again…..

    Chiefs run from scrum but Force are hitting the Chiefs back hard and knock on scrum Force…

  12. Great game of Rugby for the Force….

    They played a hard defensive game with the Chiefs making too many mistakes and were unable to get over the Force defence…..

    On the stats:

    Meters Run…..Chiefs 238 and Force 250
    Carriers ……Chiefs 122 and Force 85
    Tackles…. Chiefs 88 and Force 138
    Handling errors Chiefs 14 and Force 4

    Same as Stormers the errors the Chiefs made cost them the game with some brilliant defence from Force