Planet Rugby

Force shock the Waratahs

17th March 2012 08:28

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sarel pretorious waratahs v force

Going backwards: Waratahs' campaign suffered another knock

The Western Force bagged their first win of the Super Rugby season after upsetting the Waratahs 21-20 in Sydney on Saturday.

The Waratahs' third defeat in the tournament is the worst start they have had to a Super Rugby season since 1997, as the hosts were booed off the pitch following an under-par performance against the less-fancied Force.

The surprise hero of the day for the visitors was new recruit David Harvey, - who joined the franchise earlier this week on an initial four-match deal - after the full-back contributed 16 points via the boot and with a try, while a second-half touchdown from Samu Wara sealed the win.

The Waratahs, guilty of committing too many errors, did make the perfect start to the match thanks to an early try to Adam Ashley-Cooper after the winger finished off a driving maul from his pack.

However the Force responded brilliantly to dominate possession and territoy with debutant Harvey slotting over a penalty before crossing for a try following a yellow card shown to Waratahs lock Dean Mumm.

James Stannard made the initial break before off-loading to Harvey, who dived over and then promptly added on the extras.

The shell-shocked Waratahs replied with an opportunistic try after Sarel Pretorius had hacked ahead opposite number Brett Sheehan's dropped ball, and wing Tom Kingston won the foot race for the try which Daniel Halangahu converted.

Any thoughts of the Waratahs pulling away from there were erased when Harvey's second penalty of the match cut the deficit to 14-13 at half-time.

The home side started the second half with a roar and a hiss, and looked like Ashley-Cooper had bagged his brace only to be called back for obstruction. Relief for the Force, as the men from Perth took advantage when Harvey was on target once again with his third penalty.

Halangahu, though, kicked the home side back in front with two quick three-pointer, only for the Force to hit back once again. Good hands, particularly from Nathan Charles, released Wara out on the right for the winger to score.

And the Waratahs just couldn't find another way through the Force defence - with the final whistle met with boos from the home fans.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Ashley-Cooper, Kingston
Cons: Halangahu 2
Pens: Halangahu 2

For Force:
Tries: Harvey, Wara
Con: Harvey
Pens: Harvey 3

Waratahs: 15 Bernard Foley, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Daniel Halangahu (c), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Tevita Metuisela, 7 Jono Jenkins, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Tom Carter.

Western Force: 15 David Harvey, 14 Samu Wara, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Matt Hodgson, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Justin Turner, 21 Ben Seymour, 22 Winston Stanley.

Referee: Jonathon White (New Zealand)

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