Planet Rugby

Reds salvage draw against Force

04th May 2013 09:44

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Ben Mccalman W Force v Reds 2013

Ben McCalman: Scores the opening try

A late try by Chris Feauai-Sautia secured the Reds an unconvincing 11-11 draw against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.

Excellent defence by the home side kept the Reds at bay for most of this match but Feauai-Sautia's try in the 73rd minute salvaged the draw for the visitors.

The opening quarter was a war of attrition but there was little enterprising play and neither side could register any points during this period.

Play was restricted mostly to the forwards as both teams tried to gain the ascendancy, but excellent defence meant that most attacking opportunities were thwarted.

The Reds thought they had opened the scoring in the ninth minute, when Digby Ioane burst through three tackles before dotting down in the corner, but the television match official ruled that the Wallaby flyer had put a foot in touch in the build-up.

Sias Ebersohn eventually got the first points onto the board, via a penalty in the 22nd minute, and he added another three-pointer shortly afterwards to give the hosts an early lead.

Quade Cooper narrowed the gap with a penalty of his own in the 34th minute and as the half progressed the Reds gained the ascendancy.

The men from Brisbane were camped inside the home side's 22 for the latter stages of the first half, but they had little to show for their effort as the Force defended their line with resilience.

This was best illustrated when Jake Schatz was held up in the tackle, in the last move of the half, by three defenders after the Reds opted to launch a driving maul from a line-out on the Force's five-metre line following a penalty.

After Ebersohn and Cooper failed with attempts at goal, the match came alive in the 52nd minute when Ben McCalman gathered a pass from Alby Mathewson before slipping past two defenders and crashing over for the first try of the match.

The Reds stepped up a gear after that try but the Force's defence held firm and stopped most of the attacking forays from the visitors into their half.

Cooper added another penalty in the 61st minute, after Ebersohn infringed at a ruck and the 2011 champions spent most of the second half camped inside the Force's half.

Ioane, who proved dangerous with ball in hand throughout, and Liam Gill both came close to scoring but replacement Feauai-Sautia was not to be denied when he forced his way over in the right-hand corner under a mass of bodies in the latter stages of the half.

The Force will be disappointed with the draw but this result means that the Reds have once again failed to beat them, after losing the corresponding game in Brisbane as well earlier this season.

The scorers:

For Western Force:
Try: McCalman
Pens: Ebersohn 2

For Reds:
Try: Feauai-Sautia
Pens: Cooper 2

Western Force: 15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Matt Hodgson (c), 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Rory Walton, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Junior Rasolea, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Albert Anae.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 James Slipper, 18 Ed O'Donoghue, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Chris Feauai-Sautia.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)

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