The Western Force will finish 2016 without a win at home after a 22-3 loss to the Stormers, ending a dire weekend for Australian rugby.
Their loss to the Stormers was the final nail in a long weekend for the Australian franchises, with the first winless weekend for Aussie teams since 2005, before the Force or Rebels were in the competition.
A double from winger Kobus Van Wyk helped the Stormers to the bonus-point win, that compounded a tough week for the Force.
The Force dominated the opening half, led by another special performance from fullback Dane Haylett-Petty, but mis-timed kicks and poor decision making cost them.
Haylett-Petty carried on his post-June series form into the match against the Stormers, finishing with 103 run metres but it wasn’t enough to propel his team to a victory.
In a kick-heavy slog, Jono Lance had the first points, slotting a penalty in the sixth minute to put the home side in front.
The home side had a handful of half-chances after that but Jean-Luc Du Plessis levelled things up in the 33rd minute.
Two tries in five minutes before the break, to Kobus Van Wyk and Siya Kolisi blew the half-time margin out to 12 points in the Stormers’ favour.
Van Wyk completed his double in the 58th minute, putting the Stormers in bonus-point territory.
Kyle Godwin went agonisingly close to scoring a Force try, but lost the ball as he reached out of a tackle to put it down.
A horror week went from bad to worse with Angus Cottrell stretchered off after a head clash with Stormers flyhalf Du Plessis in the eighth minute, with a suspected knee injury also a concern.
Daniel Du Plessis was also stretchered off, in the 11th minute, but handed a yellow card in the process for tackling Force winger Marcel Brache in the air.
(Tries: Cons: Pens: Lance)
(Tries: Van Wyk 2, Kolisi Cons:J Du Plessis 2Pens: J Du Plessis)