Force edge Perth arm-wrestle

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:49

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Western Fore came from behind to edge the Reds 26-19 in an arm-wrestle in Perth on Thursday.

The Reds were warm favourites, but the perennial cellar dwellers of Super Rugby, the Force, were able to snatch the win.

The teams scored three tries each, but three Ian Prior penalties and a Michael Ruru try saw the Force come back from trailing 12-19 to win the match.

Force captain Heath Tessmann hailed a new resolve within the team.

"I think 12 months ago we might not have carried this off, but there is a lot of confidence in this group," Tessmann said.

The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for the Reds and particularly wing Eto Nabuli, whose hat-trick of tries wasn't enough.

Nabuli, another former Rugby League player, ran in tries in the 19th, 21st and 49th minutes, after the Force had opened the scoring in the second minute.

Force wing Chance Peni was on the end of some clever passing and crossed for the first try to give the apprehensive home crowd an early boost.

Nabuli then stepped up and his brilliant second try put the Reds in a strong position early, but Force lock Matt Philip bustled over in the 34th minute to level the scores heading into half-time.

Fijian Nabuli's third try gave the Reds a 17-12 lead and Quade Cooper added the two for the conversion.

However, the Force struck back through successive penalties in the 54th and 67th minute, both from the boot of Prior, to set up their late push to victory and they held a last-gasp challenge from the Reds at bay.

Wallaby forward Adam Coleman limped off with a leg injury late in the first half, but the Force said the injury was not serious.

Man of the match: You can look at Eto Nabuli's hat-trick for the Reds, or Chance Peni's equally devastating attacking ability. However, we feel the most influential player was Western Force replacement Ian Prior and he gets our award.

The scorers:

For the Western Force:
Tries:
Peni, Philip, Rona
Con: Lance
Pens: Prior 3

For Reds:
Tries:
Nabuli 3
Cons: Cooper 2

Yellow card: Sef Fa'agase (Reds, 67 - foul play, dangerous tackle)

Teams:

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain), 1 Ben Daley.  
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Richard Hardwick, 20 Isi Naisarani, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Alex Newsome.

Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa'agase. 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Izaia Perese.

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

@rugby365com & AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 21 July 2017
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
Highlanders v Reds 40 | 17
Sat, 08 July 2017
Stormers v Sunwolves 52 | 15
Bulls v Kings 30 | 31
Waratahs v Jaguares 27 | 40
New Zealand v B&I Lions 15 | 15
Fri, 07 July 2017
Force v Rebels 31 | 22
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28