With the Western Force’s future still not certain, all they can do is play rugby to the best of their ability and hope. If they could win, which would be a tough ask, it would probably secure their place in Super Rugby but as I said, the Waikato Chiefs would be no push over.
Aaron Cruden had been more or less pushed out the picture for the All Blacks but he showed he still had the skills with a great weaving run. He then found the hands of Tawera Kerr-Barlow who in turn passed quickly to Siegfried Fisihoi. The prop was tackled just short but Liam Messam was in support so scooped the ball up to score the try. It was a good try but was perhaps opened up by Brodie Rettalick blocking Lewis Carmichael. However, Cruden banged over the conversion.
It took 20 minutes but the Force did eventually get a reply by none other than Matt Hodgson. It was a sensatioal bit of mauling from his fellow forwards but it was ‘Captain Fantastic’ Hodgson who snatched the eventual try. Prior converted to bring the scores level and that was how it stayed until half time.
The second half was not very action packed. Aaron Cruden notched 3 penalties to push the Chiefs ahead but 9 but the tale of the half was squandered opportunities by both teams; both made good breaks but could not finish their chances. However, it was the Chiefs who took the spoils with the Force very unfotunate to not get a bonus point.