Force demolish hapless Reds
Perth - The Western Force capitalised on the faltering Reds to notch an emphatic 45-19 win in their Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
The defending champions were never in the contest, as the Force dominated the early stages to ensure the Reds could not build back any confidence after their thrashing in Pretoria.
The Force ran in two first-half tries and three penalties to lead 21-5 at half time. From there the result was never in doubt, the Reds dropping their third game in a row for the first time since 2009.
The home team were on the board within moments of the start through a David Harvey penalty and alarm bells must have been ringing for the Reds when James Stannard crossed in the corner in the eighth minute.
Harvey missed the conversion, but added two more penalties in the 16th and 18th minutes for a 14-0 lead.
With the Force pressing, veteran Nathan Sharpe lumbered over in the 32nd minute for the Force's second try, which Harvey converted as the home side took total control to lead 21-0.
The Reds finally gave themselves something to cheer when James Slipper was rewarded for some good ball retention with their first try right on half-time.
However, things only got worse for the Reds when the Force crossed again after the resumption, Ben Seymour crossing and Harvey then converting for a 28-5 lead.
The Reds added a second try in the 51st minutes, when Van Humphries bustled over in the corner, but the lack of reaction among the visitors told a tale of their lack of self-belief.
The Force piled on the points, with Samu Wara adding a bonus point try in the 70th minute and Matt Hodgson adding another late in the match.
The Reds gained some consolation with a try in the final play of the match through Dom Shipperley, but it did little to hide their inadequacies, as Reds skipper James Horwill lamented after the match.
"We didn't play very well, he said.
"We gave them a lot of possession at the start of the game and they made the most of it and took their opportunities."
Force captain David Pocock was thrilled with one of the Force's biggest wins, but said the challenge was to be more consistent.
"It was a very enjoyable game," he said.
"The challenge is to back that up next week."
15 David Harvey, 14 Samu Wara, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 James Stannard, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Matt Hodgson, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan
Substitutes: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Ben Seymour, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Kyle Godwin
15 Rod Davies, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Joel Rapana, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Dallan Murphy, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Van Humphries, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley
Substitutes: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Eddie Quirk, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nathan Eyres-Brown