Force leave Reds behind
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 11:27
A late try to hooker Nathan Charles put the finishing touch on a gutsy victory
A late burst from the Force saw them secure a vital 30-20 victory over the Reds in Perth and keep their play-off hopes alive.
The teams had been tied up at 20-20 with ten minutes left, but a penalty from Jayden Hayward and a dramatic try from hooker Nathan Charles saw the Force home in the end.
Nick Cummins, who will leave at season's end to play in Japan, played a role in two tries in the first 20 minutes.
The Reds fought back from 17-3 down to tie the match at 20-20 after 68 minutes, but the Force responded with a late try to hooker Nathan Charles, converted by Jayden Hayward, who also kicked a penalty.
Western Force moved into seventh place with one regular season round remaining and with a strong chance of reaching the play-offs for the first time in their history.
The Force must beat the Brumbies next weekend to have any chance of reaching the play-offs while the Reds, 12th on the table, can still have a say in the final standings when they play their arch-rivals, the Waratahs, next Saturday.
Cummins was prominent as the Force made a strong beginning to Saturday's match. After fullback Mike Harris kicked a penalty to give the Reds an early 3-0 lead, Cummins scored a try which, with Hayward's conversion, gave the Force an advantage they never relinquished.
Cummins also played a vital part in a try to backrower Ben McCalman that saw the Force's lead peak at 17-3 after 19 minutes.
The Reds lacked efficiency and physical presence at breakdowns in the early going, but they came into the match as it opened up around half-time.
Center Samu Kerevi scored a try that cut the lead to 17-10, then giant prop Albert Anae crossed to help The Reds get back onto level terms.
"Our first 20 was probably our best 20 of the year but we went up and down and it was good to get a win," Force captain Matt Hodgson said.
"Next week's game with the Brumbies is a big game for us but we've put ourselves in this position and we're going to go down there and try to get the win for sure."
The Reds have long been out of the play-offs race but have a chance next weekend to upset the Waratahs run towards a home semifinal.
"We probably hurt ourselves a lot by missed opportunites and silly errors," captain James Horwill said. "We couldn't get the flow of our game going and also they pressured us at the breakdown and we probably weren't efficient enough there."
Man of the match: In a match dominated by basic errors on both sides Nick Cummins stood out for his prominent role in both of the Force's early tries, although he was not given as many opportunities in the second half.
For the Western Force:
Tries: Cummins, McCalman, Charles
Cons: Hayward 3
Pens: Hayward 3
For the Reds:
Tries: Kerevi, Anae
Cons: Harris 2
Pens: Harris 2
Yellow card: Hugh McMeniman (Western Force, 28 mins - Foul play)
Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Hugh McMenamin, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Dillyn Leyds, 23 Solomoni Rasolea.
Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Samu Kerevi , 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Tim Buchanan, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie, Ian Smith (both Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)
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