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Win over Drua leaves Force daring to dream of making the knockouts

By AAP
(Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Western Force are daring to dream of Super Rugby Pacific finals, keeping their hopes alive with a bonus point 34-14 win over Fijian Drua at HBF Park. The victory maintained the Force’s unbeaten home record of four wins from four, and Friday’s bonus point was crucial as they jumped the Drua and moved into the top eight.

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The Force scrum was bolstered by the return from injury of Wallabies Tom Robertson and Folau Fainga’a, with the latter grabbing two tries. Max Burey, in just his second Super game, straightened the Force attack well and centre Sam Spink was bruising in midfield.

The Force’s carries through the middle were effective and they concentrated most of their wide attack on the left with right winger Zach Kibirige struggling. Coach Simon Cron went into the game with just two backs on the bench for the first time this season and would have been reluctant to make an early switch.

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His problem deepened when he lost left winger Manasa Mataele after 54 minutes with an eye injury. The Force took an early lead when the ball was moved quickly to Mataele who went over in the corner. They went further ahead when hooker Fainga’a ran a good line to crash over for his third try of the season, converted by Burey.

After a slow start, the Drua clawed back, piling pressure on the Force defence as Eroni Sau found a hole to stroll through. His try was converted by Frank Lomani. The momentum swung further in the Drua’s favour and they pummeled the Force line, edging ahead on the half-hour with a converted try by Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta.

Burey restored the home side’s lead with a penalty after the siren. The Drua were pointless after the break as the Force got off to a dream second-half start, second-rower Jeremy Williams driving over from the back of a maul.

Fainga’a added his second from a rolling maul, Burey converted both, and homegrown flanker Carlo Tizzano added the fifth with his first Super try for the Force.

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1 Comment
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isaac 400 days ago

What a match by the Force..composed for most parts...what frustrated me though was four different interpretations of the same infringement at ruck by the ref.....it was the scrum...3 penalties at first to the drua....then he let the #9 use ball twice...then he blew three resets of the scrum and finally awarded two penalties to the force for the same play....no wonder rugby is on it's way down

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