Force outrun by Country
The Western Force have missed out on the NRC Grand Final, falling to reigning champions Queensland Country in stormy conditions at Bond University on Sunday.
A slow start for the Force, gave the Country an early lead before they were able to run away with the win finishing 45-21.
It was Queensland’s Jordan Petaia who opened the scoring putting five points on the board with a try giving Country an early boost of confidence.
But times got tougher for the Force when Rod Davies was handed a yellow card, followed by Jack McGregor minutes later, the two-man difference giving Country the opportunity to create an early 15 point lead.
A clever pass from Andrew Deegan to Brad Lacey saw the young 24-year-old crash over the line for the Force’s first try in a crucial play to get back into the game.
Captain Ian Prior made sure to kick perfectly to secure the extra points.
Country replied quickly after sending Chris Feauai-Sautia over for a try just a few minutes after.
With both Davies and McGregor back on the field, the group got back together and put up a strong forward push giving Heath Tessmann the opportunity to secure a try. Prior as accurate as ever, kicks the ball through the posts to narrow the lead to six points at the end of the first half.
The Force started off the second half well with a penalty goal by Ian Prior resulting in Country only being ahead by three points.
But Queensland held onto the lead sending Harry Hoopert over for a try, followed by Hamish Stewart’s first successful conversion of the match.
The match took an unexpected twist when Referee Damon Murphy called a 10minute break due to lightning and stormy conditions.
Upon resuming the game a determined Force outfit pushed forward once again with Harrison Lloyd on the end of a maul to crash down for a try. Prior kept his perfect conversion tally easily kicking through for the extra points.
Despite the Force persistence, Queensland Country was able to hold onto the lead with another two unanswered tries giving them a 21-point win.