Reds vs Force: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

What did we learn from the Reds vs Force?

Set-piece dominance needs back up

There were  few positives for the Reds to take away from their loss to the Force but their dominance in the scrum was something to smile about. Experienced props Greg Holmes and Ben Daley led the way for the home side as they continually dominated Guy Millar and Pek Cowan. However the piece is just one aspect of the game and there’s a lot the Reds need to work on if they want to translate set piece wins into scoreboard victories ahead of their round three match against the Rebels.

Injury woes continue

The Reds may have dominated at the scrum but their absentee list is set to grow, with more of their forwards under injury clouds . The home side went into the match missing Wallabies James Slipper, Kane Douglas and Liam Gill and now look to be without Saia Fainga’a for an extended period of time after limping off with a foot injury in the 25th minute.

Get used to hearing this name

There was a lot of hype internally about new Western Force winger Semisi Masirwera who dominated in the ITM Cup before earning a Super Rugby contract. In his first Super Rugby start the Fijian-born flyer was cool, calm and collected, showing off his trademark step on numerous occasions. Masirwera finished the night with five tackle busts, and 82 run metres from his seven runs and looked extremely composed under the high-ball.

Battle of the boots

It was a scrappy affair at Suncorp Stadium, with the only try coming in the 80th minute of the match, meaning it was up to the boot of Jono Lance and Ayumu Goromaru to decide the result. Lance has slotted in nicely to embed himself as the Force’s starting flyhalf and has kicked at 100 per cent across the opening two rounds. It was a tougher night for Japanese recruit Goromaru who slotted just two of four kicks.

Force show character

The Western Force continued to experiment with their new attacking game plan despite tough conditions in Queensland. While they opted to run the ball when given then opportunity they certainly haven’t lost the defensive dominance that has been the trademark of coach Michael Foley. The Force showed their true spirit in Saturday’s win and continued to persist when it wasn’t going their way. Head Coach Michael Foley will be happy to have a W next to their name, but will no doubt be prouder of his intensity across the full 80 minutes.