Chiefs beat Sunwolves in Super Rugby

All Blacks playmaker Damian McKenzie had a major role as the Chiefs continued their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season with a 43-17 win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo.

McKenzie missed last year's World Cup and most of the 2019 season with a knee injury but has made a strong return over the last two weeks after sitting out the opening round.

Saturday's away win was important to the Chiefs because the Sunwolves, having already beaten the Melbourne Rebels, are likely to trip up a number of teams at home in their final campaign.

To prove that, the Sunwolves scored first Saturday with a try to flyhalf Garth April after strong running from former England centre Ben Te'o.

McKenzie featured as the Chiefs struck back with tries on both flanks, using the width of the field to score through wingers Solomon Alaimalo and Shaun Stevenson.

The Sunwolves missed a vital chance to score in the 17th minute when McKenzie chopped down Jarred Adams centimetres from the line and the prop could not link with two unmarked players outside him.

McKenzie then made a second try for Alaimalo which gave the Chiefs a 24-7 lead.

The Sunwolves had to score next and did so when Georgia hooker Jaba Bregvadze wrestled the ball over the line from a maul just before halftime.

The Chiefs made the game safe when flanker Lachlan Boshier scored within three minutes of the restart, pouncing on a Sunwolves turnover.

The last hope of a home side rally was snuffed out by a try-saving tackle by Chiefs halfback Brad Weber on Sunwolves centre Shogo Nakano, though Nakano did score - too late - in the 73rd minute.

The Chiefs punished a tiring Sunwolves team with late tries to Quinn Tupaea and Kaleb Trask to secure the bonus point.

"I don't think we took our opportunities when they came today and we switched off at important moments," Sunwolves captain Jake Schatz said.

"Against the Chiefs you can't afford to give up the turnovers we did in phase play."