Planet Rugby

Force blow Reds away in Perth

31st March 2012 13:27

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Nathan Sharpe W Force v Reds 2012

Nathan Sharpe: Scored one of the Force's five tries

The Reds' winless streak continued, when they were beaten 45-19 by the Western Force at the nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

The home side were full value for their win and it's largely down to the superb start which they made in this match.

Their forwards in particular deserve credit for the excellent platform which they set up for their backs.

The win is only the Western Force's second of the season and it's the first time that they have managed to score a bonus point for scoring four tries or more at their home ground.

The Reds looked totally out of sorts in the first half and seemed shell-shocked by the intensity with which the Force displayed during this period.

The champions' play was littered with handling errors and poor decision-making which the Force capitalised on and they raced into a 14-0 lead within 20 minutes.

This after an early try from James Stannard and impressive goal-kicking from David Harvey, who eventually contributed 20 points in the victory, via four penalties and four conversions.

The Force suffered a setback midway through the opening half when Stannard was forced off with an ankle injury but their fears soon subsided when Nathan Sharpe scored their second try in the 33rd minute.

The Reds tried to fightback and on the stroke of half-time they were rewarded when James Slipper crossed over for his first-ever try in the competition.

With that try and the Force's chief playmaker Stannard off, the Reds must have fancied their chances off launching a comeback in the second half but replacement fly-half Ben Seymour had other ideas.

Shortly after the break, Brett Sheehan charged down a woeful clearance kick from Dallan Murphy. The scrum-half regathered before offloading to Seymour who outpaced the cover defence before scoring.

The Reds struck back soon after that with a try by Van Humphries but the Force sealed the win and their bonus point try in the 70th minute when Seymour threaded a grubber kick past the on-rushing Reds defence which Samu Wara collected before dotting down.

The home side were not done though and still had time to score the best try of the match in the 74th minute when Matt Hodgson rounded off in the left-hand corner after Nic Cummins started a counter attack deep inside his 22.

Reds speedster Dom Shipperley scored a consolation try in the dying seconds of the match but this loss means that the champions have now lost three matches on the trot.

They have also conceded more than 100 points in two matches after losing 61-8 to the Bulls last weekend.

The scorers:

For Western Force:
Tries: Stannard, Sharpe, Seymour, Wara, Hodgson
Cons: Harvey 4
Pens: Harvey 4

For Reds:
Tries: Slipper, Humphries, Shipperley
Cons: Murphy 2

Western Force: 15 David Harvey, 14 Samu Wara, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Matt Hodgson, 7 David Pocock, 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Ben Seymour, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Kyle Godwin.

Reds: 15 Rod Davies, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Joel Rapana, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Van Humphries, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Eddie Quirk, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nathan Eyres-Brown.

Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)

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