FORCE GO FOR THE KILL
The Western Force powered to an emphatic 72-7 victory over the Newcastle Wildfires barbarian side in their final warm-up match ahead of the inaugural season of Global Rapid Rugby, kicking off on March 14.
The Force ran in ten tries to one, employing a game plan built around variety in attack, controlled defence and solid handling.
The match was played in front of a crowd of around 3000 at Newcastle.
The Force dominated the first half, storming into a 37-0 lead within 30 minutes through five well-taken tries, including two nine-point Power tries.
The scoring was opened by centre Henry Taefu in the fifth minute after a great inside break from fullback Jack McGregor in front of his own posts saw the Force backs run the length of the field to send Taefu over in the corner.
The second try was scored by number eight Brynard Stander after a strong drive by the forwards close to the Newcastle line.
Wing Brad Lacey grabbed the third – and first Power try – rounding off after some crafty footwork and handling by flyhalf AJ Alitimu and McGregor.
Byron Ralston added the fourth – also a Power try – going over in the corner after a clever chip by Taefu over a flat Newcastle defence.
Lacey grabbed his second and the Force’s fifth on the 30-minute mark, rounding off a sweeping move down the left flank with some great interplay between forwards and backs.
Captain Ian Prior converted three of the first half tries.
Newcastle had the final say of the half when centre Wes Thomas crossed for a converted try after persistent build-up play inside the Force 22.
The Force led 37-7 at the break.
Newcastle was more competitive in the second half, getting a better share of possession.
The Force remained dominant and it took 25 minutes for them to add to their tally with long-range tries by wing replacement Jake Strachan and centre Byron Ralston, converted by Alatimu and McGregor respectively, to move the score to 51-7.
With Newcastle tiring and some fresh legs on the park, the Force added a further three tries by subs in the final five minutes. The first was a well-taken intercept by Grason Makara, the next by Rory O’Sullivan from a long-range breakout from the Force half, and the last by wing Jacob Abel with his first touch of the ball.
McGregor was on target with all three conversions to seal the 72-7 win.
The coaching team will be satisfied with a strong performance, which bodes well of the Rapid Rugby pipe-opener against the Malaysia Valke in two weeks.
PS Structures & The Western Force, Striving for Excellence.