Force claim first 2016 win

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

The Western Force have recorded their first win of the season, defeating the Queensland Reds 22-6 at Suncorp Stadium.

A Luke Morahan try in the 80th minute, the only five-pointer of the match, sealed the result for the Force in their first road trip of 2016.

It was Goromaru-mania ahead of the match with plenty of  Japanese fans flocking to Suncorp Stadium to see the Reds’ new star recruit in his first home game.

The opening half was a scrappy one, with skills not helped by light rain hitting Brisbane ahead of the match.

Force flyhalf Jono Lance was first to get on the board, in the fourth minute after the Reds were penalised at the ruck.

In a relatively even first half, neither team had many chances in attack but it was the Force who dominated territory, holding 70 per cent of that stat before the break.

The Force had their best chance of the first half in the 13th minute when referee Angus Gardner went upstairs to check on a potential Alby Mathewson try.

The Reds had to scramble back in defence after a Jake McIntyre drop ball, and it was Samu Kerevi that saved the day for the Reds, just beating Mathewson to the ball.

While the Force dominated territory it was the Reds who were on top with their impressive set piece.

After dominating the Waratahs at the scrum in round one they continued their authority, winning numerous penalties.

Even when experienced hooker Saia Fainga’a went off in the 25th minute with a foot injury they continued to prevail at the scrum with young gun Andrew Ready.

The second 40 continued where the first half left off with neither team able to break the game open.

Force fullback Dane Haylett-Petty showed off his powerful running to set up a nice passage of play, but was unable to have an influence on the scoreboard.

It was a battle of the boots with Lance adding another two penalties in the second half, while Goromaru finished the night with another 50-50 return.

Amazingly the highlight of the night came in the final minute of the match when Lance put in a grubber out wide to set up Morahan for the only try of the night.

Things won’t get any easier  for the Reds who travel to Melbourne next week to take on the Rebels as the only Australian side without a win in 2016.

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