The Western Force ended their six-match Super Rugby winless streak when they beat the Lions 17-11 in Perth on Saturday.
The Western Force ended their six-match winless streak when they beat the Lions 17-11 in their Super Rugby clash in Perth on Saturday.
It was easy to see why these two teams are languishing at the foot of the table as this encounter was a poor spectacle filled with handling errors and dismal finishing from both sides.
The Lions opened the scoring, as early as the fourth minute, when Michael Killian rounded off in the left-hand corner after running onto a perfectly-timed inside pass from Andries Coetzee.
Elton Jantjies failed to convert but he extended his team's lead with a penalty in the 12th minute before Ben Seymour struck back with a place-kick of his own ten minutes later.
The rest of the half was a frenetic affair as both teams ran the ball from all areas of the field but poor finishing meant that neither side added to their points tally and the visitors held a slender five point lead at the interval.
The second half belonged entirely to the Force as they were camped inside the Lions' half for long periods.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 58th minute when their captain David Pocock scored their first try, under a mass of bodies, after barging over from close quarters.
The Force continued to dominate and were given a further boost when Lions flanker Derick Minnie was given his marching orders for a professional foul in the 69th minute.
With the Force on the attack, close to the halfway line, Minnie failed to roll away from a ruck and referee Garratt Williamson was left with no option but to send the loose forward to the sin bin.
This gave the men in blue the upper-hand and they made full use of their numerical advantage.
Shortly afterwards their Fijian wing Napolioni Nalaga gathered the ball at a ruck, close to the visitors' try-line, and brushed aside four defenders before dotting down. As with Pocock's effort Ben Seymour added the extra two points.
An injury time penalty from replacement back Ruan Combrinck meant the Lions received a bonus-point for losing by less than seven points but few will argue that the hosts deserved this victory.
For Western Force:
Tries: Pocock, Nalaga
Cons: Seymour 2
Pens: Jantjies, Combrinck
Yellow card: Derick Minnie (69th minute – professional foul)
Western Force: 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 David Harvey.
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon Van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (c), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Franco Van der Merwe, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 CJ Van der Linde.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Cobus Grobbelaar, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Ruan Combrinck, 22 James Kamana.
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)