Gritty Force stun tryless Reds
Sat, 16 Mar 2013 10:37
Their first win of the season which was also their debut victory at Suncorp Stadium
The Force showed great character to record a hard-fought 19-12 victory over a sloppy Reds team in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Perth side scored the only try of the game to secure their first win of the season which was also their debut victory at Suncorp Stadium, whilst the Red walked away with just the bonus point to show for their efforts.
The visitors showed great determination to keep the pressure on the Reds who will be incredibly disappointed at their failure to score any points in the second half.
The game got off to a measured start as neither team were able to build any meaningful momentum in the opposition 22, which made the opening 20 minutes something of a kicking battle between the two flyhalves.
The Force drew first blood when Sias Ebersohn kicked an early penalty, and the Reds responded with two penalties from Quade Cooper, before Ebersohn levelled things up at 6-6 soon afterwards.
The Force had the first real attacking opportunity of the match when a clearance kick from Cooper was charged down, but Chris Feauai-Sautia won the race to the ball and the home side escaped.
The Reds edged ahead at the half-hour mark when Force tighthead Salesi Ma'afu was penalised at a scrum, but the visitors hit back when Alfie Mafi got over for what was to be the only try of the game.
Lively Force scrumhalf Alby Mathewson exposed a gap at the back of a line-out and found a flying Mafi who held off the tackle of Will Genia to go over in the corner.
A fourth Cooper penalty reduced the deficit to 13-12, and despite some late pressure from the Reds the Force took that slender lead into the half-time break.
The Force continued to apply the pressure at the start of the second half, and they received a further boost when Reds flank Eddie Quirk was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Kyle Godwin.
Ebersohn knocked the resulting penalty over to give them a 16-12 advantage, and the Reds had it all to do in the last 25 minutes.
Another sniping break from Mathewson opened the Reds defence right up, but replacement wing Junior Rasolea couldn't control the ball as he tried to pick it up and score.
However, the Force were eventually rewarded when Ebersohn kicked another penalty following a scrum infringement from Reds prop James Slipper.
That kick stretched the lead to 19-12, which meant that the Reds had to score twice in the last ten minutes in order to salvage a win.
The home side stormed into the Force 22 in desperation, but the visitors managed to hold on for their first win at the venue.
Man of the match: Force scrumhalf Alby Mathewson controlled the game well, and made a few breaks which created crucial opportunities for his side.
For the Reds:
Pens: Cooper 4
For the Force:
Pens: Ebersohn 4
Yellow card: Quirk (Dangerous tackle, 56 mins)
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Mike Harris, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ed O'Donoghue, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Dom Shipperly, 22 Aidan Toua.
Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (captain).
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Junior Rasolea, 22 Jayden Hayward.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)
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