Force tame the Tigers
The Western Force have claimed a 24-point victory over the South China Tigers in Hong Kong to bring home the Global Rapid Rugby Asia Showcase Series trophy.
A fast-paced game saw the fitness of both the teams tested but a strong second half saw them pile on four tries to finish 40-16.
The Force started the game with a bang as 25-year-old winger Brad Lacey raced over the line scoring a power try after only a few phases from kick-off.
The Tigers almost clawed their way back through Tom Varndell but clever defence and a strong tackle by Issak Fines kept the South China Tiger marquee winger try off the scoreboard.
Scoring most of their points through penalty goals, Matthew Rosslee’s kicking accuracy was close to perfect as he started the Tigers scoring with a precise kick through the posts, followed by another shortly after.
Trailing narrowly, the Tigers maintained dominance in this half sending Liam Slatem over for what could have been a power try but starting the play just outside of the 22m line kept them to just five points.
Determined to come home with a win, the Force replied quickly after several hard-fought phases with the ‘Bull’, Brynard Stander, charging his way through to put the ball down and end the first half with a three-point lead.
The second half started slowly before scrum-half Issak Fines continued his standout performance, running the ball up the field giving the Force a serious positional advantage on the ground.
The Tigers worked hard to keep the visitors from the crossing over, but the strength of the Force’s forwards was too much for the Hong Kong team as they inched closer to the try line, opening space for AJ Alatimu to score the first try of the second half.
Coming on from the reserves, the Tigers’ Glyn Hughes reduced the Force lead, slotting through another penalty goal. But the West Australian’s kept their momentum going and the unstoppable Brynard Stander broke through the Tigers defence once more to earn his second try.
It was the Force’s game from here as the team came together quickly to put on a fabulous finishing display of fast-running rugby. Issak Fines produced a clever cut-out pass skipping several hands to find Jack McGregor with an opening straight over the try line.
The action continued as the Force pushed ahead once more this time finding Feleti Kaitu’u with the ball to see him finish the game with a brilliant try of his own.
|Force||South China Tigers|
|6||KICKS IN PLAY||4|
Brad Lacey, Brynard Stander (2), AJ Alatimu, Jack McGregor and Feleti Kaitu’u.