FORCE LOSE TO DOMINANT REDS IN QUEENSLAND
Three Reds tries in the space of 10 minutes, while the Force were reduced to 14 men, put an end to a second-half comeback as the WA side eventually went down 57-5 in tonight’s Round 8 Super Rugby AU clash at Cbus Super Stadium.
The Reds led 15-0 at half-time but the Force started the second spell with determination and had reduced the deficit to 10 points after just three minutes, before prop Kieran Longbottom was yellow-carded. The Reds took advantage of the extra man and dominated play for the remainder of the match.
The Force lineout was controlled, and the team put it to good use as they kept the Reds under pressure inside their own half in the opening 10 minutes. The Reds defence was resolute, however, repelling repeated Force attacks into the 22.
Having weathered the early storm, the Reds progressed up-field, taking the ball through eight phases to send prop Taniela Tupou over the Force line in the 13th minute. The try was disallowed but with a penalty advantage being played, the Reds opted for a lineout, secured possession from the restart and created space for Filipo Daugunu to score.
Daugunu scored a second try on the half hour after the Reds had secured lineout possession five meters from the Force line. They moved play to the open side to create the scoring opportunity out wide. O’Connor was unsuccessful with the conversion, leaving the score at 12-0, before he was able to add a penalty on the stroke of half-time to move the Reds lead to 15 points.
Within three minutes of the restart, the Western Force reduced the deficit to 5-15 when hooker Andrew Ready scored a try after a well-controlled rolling maul from a lineout. Ready’s try was his second against his former side in this Super Rugby AU campaign.
The Reds put the Force scrum under pressure afterwards and the Queensland team added their third try through flanker Fraser McReight, after O’Connor had breached the advantage line. The flyhalf added the conversion to stretch the Reds’ lead to 22-5. They added a further try three minutes later when scrum-half Tate McDermott sniped down the blind side. O’Connor converted to 29-5.
McDermott took a quick tap from a penalty to race in for his second try, again converted by O’Connor, to move the score to 36-5. With ten minutes to play, O’Connor added the Reds’ sixth try and converted to increase the Reds lead. Bryce Hegarty and Tuaina Taii Tualima added further tries in the closing stages, both converted by O’Connor, to seal the 57-5 victory.
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