Chiefs put Wales to the sword

Date published: June 14 2016

Six tries from the Chiefs saw them outclass Wales by 40-7 in a one-off friendly match in Hamilton on Tuesday.

The last time Wales loss to a New Zealand club side was back in 1988 against Waikato in a match which the current Wales head coach Warren Gatland scored.

This time around Gatland had less to celebrate.

The home side outscored Wales by six tries to one, with Brad Weber, Tom Sanders, Dominic Bird, James Lowe, Toni Pulu and Sam McNicol all scoring for the two-time Super Rugby champions while Kristian Dacey notched up Wales' only try.

Veteran playmaker Stephen Donald's fine form from the tee saw him add eight points through four conversions.

The loss comes just days after Wales' Test squad lost to the All Blacks in Auckland in the first of the three-match Test series.

A mismatch in the midfield saw Donald assist with a brilliant score after the skipper dummied Josh Turnbull before offloading to his half-back partner, Brad Weber, to run in for the first try of the match, Donald added the extras to give the visitors an early lead.

Despite the possession and territory being fairly poised, the home side's strike rate was better in the opening 40 and after a few exciting line breaks the Chiefs' confidence in their attacking abilities grew.

The Chiefs kept ball in hand and applied consistent pressure which handed them ideal opportunities to starve Wales from quality possession, fly-half Donald's visionary skills freeing up the dangerous Chiefs backs which saw them score three unanswered tries in the first half, Tom Sanders and Dom Bird adding to Weber's earlier effort.

The visitors came out firing after the break but they had to wait until the 55th minute to get on the scoreboard.

A well-worked lineout maul, metres from the Chiefs' try line, allowed Wales to overpower the home side as replacement hooker Kristian Dacey crashed over and Priestland's conversion made the score 21-7.

A massive 80 phases in total compared to that of the hosts' six in the second half testifies that Gatland's men gave it their all as the match was slipping away from them.

This effort from the visitors was however short-lived, as the Chiefs' patience on defence paid off after a quick lineout throw led to replacement forward Taleni Seu offloading to James Lowe for the home side's fourth try, which Donald converted from a difficult angle to make the score 28-7.

Minutes later it was the fastest man in New Zealand Rugby, according to Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie, Toni Pulu, who took the game well out of the reach of Wales after a clever grubber kick from Seu allowed Pulu to collect and crash over for his side's fifth try.

There was still time however for another score as Sam McNicol went over for the home side's sixth and final try, with the conversion taking the score to 40-7 and capping off a memorable win for the Chiefs, and a poor night for Wales.

The scorers:

For Chiefs:
Tries: Weber, Sanders, Bird, Lowe, Pulu, McNicol
Cons: Donald 4, Lowe

For Wales:
Try: Dacey
Con: Priestland

Chiefs: 15 James Lowe, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Sam Vaka, 10 Stephen Donald (c), 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Mitchell Graham
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Sam McNicol, 23 Latu Vaeno

Wales: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Eli Walker, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Tom James, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 James King, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Luke Charteris (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Rhys Patchell

Venue: FMG Stadium, Hamilton