- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 15 June 2016, 7:33AM
For the first time in their 20-year history, the Chiefs unleashed a pre-game haka to mark the special occasion of their clash with Wales last night.
The Chiefs usually perform a haka after claiming important victories, but threw tradition out the window for yesterday's special mid-week clash, in which they beat Wales 40-7.
The Hika Elliot-led haka would have been especially poignant for Hamilton-born Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who was a Waikato stalwart during his playing days.
In one devastating 80-minute spell, the Chiefs tonight dealt a huge blow to Wales' hopes of taking anything from this tour and sent a warning to a Lions side set to face all five Super Rugby franchises in 2017.
It was difficult to judge who were the international outfit on a cold but invigorating night in Hamilton. While this was far from Wales' test team, the Chiefs were also missing their eight All Blacks and were superior in almost every facet, racing to a commanding first-half lead and never looking like losing it after the break.
Led by a captain's knock from Stephen Donald that belied his 32 years, the Chiefs' attack didn't miss a beat without several sparkplugs, living off scraps and appearing far more lethal than a rather generous opponent.
It was one thing for Wales to struggle with the Chiefs' running game - many Super Rugby sides know that feeling, although that component is usually marshalled by Aaron Cruden and Damian McKenzie. But it was quite another for the tourists to be so ineffective when they had their hands on the ball.
"It was disappointing," Wales coach Warren Gatland said. "[The Chiefs] defended well and, when the chances came their way, they were excellent. The dominated us at collision time and sometimes the game of rugby is very simple - it's a physical game about collisions."
Chiefs 40 (Weber, Sanders, Bird, Donald, Pulu, McNicol tries; Donald 4 cons, Lowe con)
Wales 7 (Dacey try; Priestland con)