Masaga lit the Chiefs
Saturday, March 7, 2009 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Messam told Sky Sport that the side stepped up and everything clicked.
It was relaxed under the pressure mounted in the final moments when replacement fullback Mike Delany repeated last week's effort of crossing for a late try only to have it ruled out for a forward pass.
But with fulltime having sounded the Chiefs utilised a penalty advantage and replacement No.8 Colin Bourke muscled his way over for the bonus point try.
Messam acknowledged the return of All Black three-quarter Richard Kahui to the side after injury and said he brought a lot of leadership in the backline and in looking after less experienced players in the side.
And he added: "Lelia Masaga was on fire and he lit us up."
Force captain Nathan Sharpe said no team could afford to give points away to the Chiefs as the Force had done.
They went into the game knowing the Chiefs would attack them wide but they were still unable to halt them.
"We wanted to be in it from the start but we couldn't get in," he said.
"We didn't play well."
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