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Story Source : https://www.westernforce.com.au
The Western Force have come away with a convincing 28-0 victory over the Wellington Hurricanes at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford this evening.
The Force started with a bang and showed great persistence in defence holding the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby grand finalists scoreless throughout the match.
It took the Western Australian side five minutes to get on the score board through big man Adam Coleman, after a series of fantastic offloads from Steve Mafi and Ian Prior. Adam crashed over just left of the posts for the first try of the game. Peter Grant made easy work of the conversion and the Force took an early 7-0 lead.
The Hurricanes then put together a number of solid phases, that placed them on the five-metre line, but the Force defence was exceptional, with Dane Haylett-Petty putting a huge shot on rival fullback Jason Woodward, which caused a knock on.
With the match being played in 20-minute quarters, the Force went into the first quarter with a 7-0 lead. The Western Force defence was superb in the first quarter, with the Hurricanes unable to penetrate the line.
The start of the second quarter saw a trademark breakdown steal from Steve Mafi, which led to a swift chip and chase from outside centre Marcel Brache, putting the Force inside the 22.
Dane Haylett-Petty’s defence was again exceptional in the 25th minute, timing his tackle to perfection and causing another knock on. As well as another cracking tackle right on the stroke of half time.
With neither team damaging the scoreboard in the second quarter, the Force went into the sheds with a 7-0 lead. Solid performances in defence from both teams was the key, with both struggling to finish off strong sets of phases.
The second half saw the Force make a host of changes to their starting team, with Semisi Masirewa, Heath Tessmann, Ross Haylett-Petty, and Kane Koteka all injected into the second half of the game.
After a relentless set of phase play from the Hurricanes in the first 10 minutes, the Force were under immense pressure, which led to Steve Mafi being sent to the bin after repeat offences. Not five minutes later young flanker Kane Koteka was also sent to the bin, and the Force were left with 13 men on the pitch.
The Force went on the attack despite the two-man deficit and pushed hard for their try line. Steve Mafi stepped back on the field and had an immediate impact scoring off the back of a Force lineout on the stroke of three-quarter time. Jono Lance converted and the Force took a 14-point lead into the last quarter.
Four minutes into the last quarter and after an errand pass from the Hurricanes, Chris Alcock pounced on the loose ball and shot down the field. After an offload to first gamer Richard Hardwick, the Force flicked a pass wide to new recruit Semisi Masirewa, who then stepped three Hurricanes players and dotted down for a great team try. Lance once again added the extras and the Force went 21-0 up with 15 minutes to play.
The men from the West struck again in the 75th minute, after a strong line break from Chris Alcock, who ran the ball inches away from the line. The ball was quickly pushed out to the left and after a superb offload from Jono Lance to Ammon Matuauto the Force went over for their fourth try. Lance had no trouble with the conversion, taking the score to 28-0.
That would be the final score line despite a last minute attack from the Hurricanes, but the Force managed to withstand the assault and come away with a strong first up victory.
The Western Force’s next and final pre-season match is next Saturday, 13 February against the Asia Pacific Dragons at McGillivray Oval. Kicking off at 5pm (AWST), be sure you are there to fill the hill and get behind the Force as we prepare for a massive 2016 Asteron Life S
uper Rugby season.