Western Force upset Chiefs 18-15 in Super Rugby
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Captain and flanker Matt Hodgson touched down twice as the Western Force handed the two-time defending champion Chiefs their first defeat in Super Rugby, 18-15 on Saturday.
The Hamilton-based Chiefs, out of New Zealand for the first time this season, hadn’t failed to score a try in Australia since 2001.
Hodgson scored from the back of a rolling maul off a lineout in the 13th minute, then Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden kicked the first of his four penalties.
Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn restored their five-point advantage with a penalty, but Cruden added two more to put the Chiefs up 9-8 at halftime.
Chiefs prop Jamie Mackintosh was sin-binned just before the interval for repeated maul infringements, but Cruden put them further ahead with another penalty. The Force still took advantage of the man advantage, with Hodgson burrowing over from a ruck a metre out for a converted try in the 46th and 15-12 lead.
Two minutes later, winger Nick Cummins almost bagged the Force’s third try but it was disallowed because he stepped out of touch with his left foot as he dived.
Eberoshn’s second penalty made it 18-12 near the hour mark, and Chiefs replacement Gareth Anscombe replied with a penalty as the Force held on for a third straight win, a first since 2007.
Western Force 18 (Matt Hodgson 2 tries; Sias Ebersohn conversion, 2 penalties), Chiefs 15 (Aaron Cruden 4 penalties, Gareth Anscombe penalty). HT: 8-9