Damian McKenzie inspires dramatic Chiefs turnaround against Waratahs

Dynamic playmaker Damian McKenzie inspired a dramatic Chiefs turnaround in their 38-22 Super Rugby Pacific defeat of the Waratahs in Sydney.

The visitors conceded the first two tries but slowly got a foothold in the contest to level the scores 12-12 at halftime.

McKenzie then took command after the interval, sparking numerous attacking raids as the Chiefs lodged their sixth win of the campaign from nine matches to cement their place in the top four.

Chiefs halfback Cortez Ratima makes a break against the Waratahs.

It was another blow to the playoff hopes of the Waratahs, who slip to a 2-7 record with five rounds remaining in the regular season.

Waratahs hooker Julian Heaven and halfback Jake Gordon crossed in the early stages while Chiefs lock Tupou Vaa’i was shown the yellow card for his team’s repeated offending.

The match turned on the 20-minute mark as the Chiefs embarked on a run of five successive tries.

The first of them was scored by fullback Shaun Stevenson, although he had to leave the match with an apparent hamstring strain following his exertions in powering into space.

Shaun Stevenson injures his hamstring in the process of scoring a try for the Chiefs against the Waratahs.

McKenzie put winger Emoni Narawa over before the interval via a well-timed long pass and the floodgates opened in the third quarter as Narawa bagged his second try before Cortez Ratima and Wallace Sititi also crossed.

Flanker Lachie Swinton scored the Waratahs’ third try but Chiefs skipper Kaylum Boshier secured his team’s bonus point by crossing five minutes from the end.

The Chiefs host the Force next week while the Waratahs face a daunting trip to Wellington to play the competition-leading Hurricanes.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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