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Force on receiving end of ugly Blues' Super thrashing

By AAP
Nic White of the Force and his team look on from the bench during the round seven Super Rugby Pacific match between Blues and Western Force at Eden Park, on April 05, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

A woeful Western Force have copped a Super Rugby Pacific thrashing, held try-less in a 50-3 belting by the Blues at Eden Park.

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Bashed up front by a powerful Blues pack on Friday evening, the bottom-ranked Force were never in the contest as they slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season.

It was the seventh time in the past three seasons the Force have been beaten by 35 points or more, and their biggest-ever loss against the Blues.

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The Force were simply blown away by the Blues in Auckland. (Andrew Cornaga/AAP PHOTOS)
Halfback Taufa Funaki nabbed a double for the Blues but it was their forwards that got the job done, overpowering the Force on their way to four of their side’s eight tries.

In hindsight, the Force would surely regret taking a penalty goal shortly before the half-hour while trailing 14-0 instead of pressing on in search of a try in a rare venture deep into Blues’ territory.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
6.2
8
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Avg. Points Scored
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Five-eighth Ben Donaldson knocked over the goal and the Blues gathered their own restart, with second-rower Laghlan McWhannell crossing to make it 21-3 seconds later in a moment that seemed to drain the fight out of the Force.

If that didn’t end their chances, silky interplay between brothers Akira and Rieko Ioane that ended with a try for Funaki to give the Blues a 28-3 lead at halftime surely did.

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The Blues’ scrum forced penalties at will and produced the match’s first try for Ofa Tu’ungafasi, with hooker Ricky Riccitelli crossing off the back of a rolling maul to make it 14-0.

Any thought of a second-half fightback was quickly snuffed out when No.8 Hoskins Sotutu powered over on 43 minutes, before centre Corey Evans picked off a loose Force pass and crossed untouched soon after in one of the Australian side’s more embarrassing moments.

Soft defending was a theme throughout, the Force missing a whopping 28 tackles compared with the Blues’ six.

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2 Comments
M
MattJH 77 days ago

That was a proper spanking. Hoskins has got some skills, and stoked to see Caleb Clarke playing great footy again.
Awful lot of kicking, Force should have had a go with ball in hand; they were getting a hiding and just kicked it back for the Blues to get field position bwfore running it at them.

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Shaylen 14 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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