Force outmatch Tonga at nib Stadium
The Western Force brought home second win in World Series Rugby at nib Stadium on Sunday evening, overpowering Tonga to run away with a dominant 47-17 victory in front of 16,323 fans.
The Force showed their intentions from the outset playing at a furious pace and shooting out to a 21-3 lead thanks to three tries in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tongans worked themselves back into the contest with two tries of their own before the break to close the gap to just four points at the change of ends.
The second half was one-way traffic with the men in blue dominating possession and territory to wear down the visitors’ defence and using their dominant to full advantage to set up a host of tries.
Western Force vice-captain Brynard Stander expressed his pride in the team’s performance and thanked the Sea of Blue for coming out in force again.
“We lost control of the game a bit there towards then end of the first half,” he said. “We were able to come out and get back to what we do best and that led to us scoring some nice tries and giving the Sea of Blue something to cheer about.”
“It is so great to see such an amazing crowd again. The Sea of Blue really gets us going and gets us up and about. To feel the WA rugby community behind us like that is really special.”
Tonga was the first to trouble the scorers as the Force infringed 30 metres out directly in front and James Faiva made no mistakes as the visitors took an early 0-3 lead.
The Force responded by setting nib Stadium alight with a brilliant set piece move just minutes later.
Brad Lacey ran a beautiful line off Andrew Deegan’s shoulder to break through before finding Clay Uyen who put Rod Davies over in the right corner.
Ian Prior converted from the touchline to put the Force ahead 7-3.
Looking to stamp their authority on the contest the Force went on the hunt for more points, controlling possession inside Tonga’s half.
Andrew Deegan showed his class throwing a beautiful inside ball to Tevin Ferris before the flanker offloaded back to Deegan and sent the flyhalf over for his first try in the blue jersey.
Once again Captain Ian Prior backed the team up with a conversion to extend the lead to 14-3.
Marcel Brache was the next to add his name to the scoresheet running a nice line off a five-metre scrum to cruise in untouched and score under the posts. Prior’s conversion took the lead to 21-3 after 20 minutes of play.
Determined to make a contest of it Tonga went on the attack, making multiple picks and drive attempt within reach of the line before finding an overlap on the left for fullback James Faiva to score. Faiva converted his own effort to close the gap to 21-10.
The Tongans crossed again just before halftime putting them right back in the match and reducing the Force’s lead to just four points at the break.
A five-metre scrum in Tonga’s 22 provided the Force’s next seven points with the Force pack marching the men in red backwards and earning a penalty try, taking the scoreboard to 28-17.
The scrum continued to pay dividends for the Force with Ian Prior setting up local lad Clay Uyen for his first try for the club before doing the same for Marcel Brache to gift the outside centre his second try of the game as the Force took a dominant 40-17 lead.
Brad Lacey was the next to join the party with the Wests Scarborough product running a good support line and receiving an offload from Leon Power to score next to the uprights. Prior’s conversion pushed the margin to 30 points and finalised the score at 47-17.