Chiefs thump profligate Wales

The Chiefs produced a huge defensive effort on the way to handing Wales a 40-7 rugby thumping in Hamilton.

The home side had limited attacking opportunities on Tuesday night, but still conjured up six tries to one.

Former All Black five-eighth Stephen Donald created one try, almost scored another and landed all four of his conversion attempts before going off late to a big ovation.

Wales had 10 players backing up from their first Test defeat to the All Blacks and one of them, skipper Sam Warburton, started both matches.

Warburton, who played all but the last eight minutes at Eden Park, was not originally named to face the Chiefs.

But he donned the No.7 jersey after Ellis Jenkins withdrew with a thigh strain and he racked up another 45 minutes.

Wales had the lion’s share of possession and territory, and constantly turned down penalty shots at goal, but they struggled to find the cutting edge against a resilient defence.

They were behind in the seventh minute to opponents with 20 players unavailable either because of injury or on international assignments, including eight with the All Blacks.

Donald, handed the captaincy with regular co-skippers Sam Cane and Aaron Cruden on Test duty, made a half break that set up halfback Brad Weber for a try.

Against the run of the play, the home side went further ahead on the half-hour when No. 8 Tom Sanders finished off a 17-phase attack.

Donald, after another galloping run, was then denied a try after the officials ruled he was held up.

But from the subsequent scrum, lock Dominic Bird went over and Donald added the extras for a 21-0 halftime scoreline.

Wales finally managed to get on the board in the 56th minute as they drove replacement hooker Kristian Dacey over from a lineout.

A second try for the tourists looked on the cards as the Chiefs appeared to show signs of tiredness.

Instead, the hosts were not only able to maintain their resolute defence, but they also finished with a flourish, via further tries to fullback James Lowe, winger Toni Pulu and replacement back Sam McNicol.

Wales have four days to recover before Saturday’s second Test in Wellington.

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