Fast finishing Force secures win against the QLD Reds

Sat, Feb 5, 2022, 10:04 AM

The final surge has seen the Western Force end their pre-season trial against the Queensland Reds with a nine-point win in Ballymore.

With less than 20 minutes to go on the clock, the Force trailed the Reds 33-21 before a series of excellent passes saw Reece Tapine fly over the line to begin the winning comeback.

Tapine’s try was quickly followed with WA homegrown talent Jackson Pugh putting the ball down on the back of a powerful driving maul to level the scores. Jack McGregor’s precise conversion put the Force in the lead by two points with less than three minutes to go.

However, the game was far from over as the team continued the unrelenting attack. After a series of phases, winger Brad Lacey scored himself a try from a brilliantly timed cut-out pass from Issak Fines-Leleiwasa in overtime. McGregor sealed the deal with a successful conversion to finish the game.

Despite the Force’s final attacking flurry, the game started as a tight encounter between both sides.

The Force started with the lead as Toni Pulu opened the scoring, followed by a conversion from Ian Prior.

The Reds quickly replied, with Tuaina Tualima closing in on the lead before Wallaby Filipo Dangunu levelled the scores with a conversion.

Not satisfied with just one try, Pulu once again pushed the Force into the lead, scoring out wide in the corner in the 15th minute. A great charge-down from inside centre Bayley Kuenzle gifted fullback Jake Strachan with a try to extend the lead. With two conversions from Prior, the Force was ahead by 14 points.

The Reds pushed back, putting down two of their own converted tries to level the scoreboard at 21-21 at halftime.

After a highly contested start to the second half, the Reds claimed the lead, with Josh Nasser claiming two tries to put them 12 points ahead with 20 minutes to go.

The Force determined to make an impact with the pre-season trial, stepping up their game pushing their way through the Reds defence to bring the win.

In addition to Wallabies and Force stalwarts, the game also showcased numerous Force Fortescue Academy players such as Luke Callan, George Poolman and Sifa Amone, proving depth within the team and a successful pathway for aspiring young WA rugby players.

With plenty of good set set-piece plays, a dominant display of strength from the forwards and skilful execution from the backs, the match proved the 2022 Super Rugby Campaign will be an exciting one.

Western Force 42

Tries: Pulu 2, Strachan, Tapine, Ready, Lacey

Conversions: Prior 3, McGregor 3

Queensland Reds 33

Tries: Nasser 2, Tualima, Thomas, Flook

Conversions: Daugunu 3, Paisami

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