Vodacom Super 14

Force run riot in Perth

2009-04-03 15:11
Matt Giteau (Gallo Images)
Perth - Teenage inside centre James O'Connor scored the first of his team's five tries and Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau added 12 points Friday for the Western Force to beat Queensland 39-7 in Super 14 rugby.

In a match involving teams in the bottom third of the standings, the Force led 17-0 at halftime and never appeared threatened by the Reds, whose mistakes inside the Force's 20-meter line cost them several tries.

Drew Mitchell, Tamaiti Horua, Ryan Cross and Haig Sare scored the Force tries. The 18-year-old O'Connor's first-half try after brushing off two tackles was the Force's first in the opening 40 minutes in their last three matches.

Giteau kicked two penalties and three conversions.

The Reds broke their match-long scoring drought with five minutes left when Blair Connor picked up their only try.

"It was very satisfying tonight," Force captain Nathan Sharpe said. "We had a complete team effort, (No.) 1 to 15 certainly put up their hands. We let a try in at the end there, but we'll take that."

The Reds made a strong start but failed to convert their early dominance into points. Digby Ioane and Connor both committed knock-ons when the Reds were threatening to score.

Queensland captain James Horwill said his side was careless in defence and with the ball.

"We just didn't turn up, full credit to the Force," Horwill said. "They bashed us off the ball at the breakdown, which was the key.

"There are some things we need to fix up in our defence. And we were just too impatient ... we tried to push the pass and our execution was pretty poor."

Force coach John Mitchell admitted his team excelled at the breakdown.

"I thought we scrummed really well," Mitchell said. "I think the building blocks were there all along, but it's been an element of trying to finish."

Reds scrumhalf Ben Lucas suffered a repeat of his rib injury, while hooker Sean Hardman hurt his knee. The Force will monitor the fitness of test No. 8 Richard Brown after he limped off in the second half.

"We were beaten in every facet and it's extremely disappointing," Reds coach Phil Mooney said. "We didn't see that coming."

The Force improved to three wins and three losses along with a draw, while the Reds, coming off a 50-26 loss last week to Waikato, are 2-5.


Western Force:

Tries: Haig Sare, Tamaiti Horua, Drew Mitchell, James O`Connor.
Conversions: James O`Connor, Matt Giteau (3). Penalty Conversion: Giteau (2).


Try: Blair Connor. Conversion: Brendan McKibben.


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