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Defending champ Reds thrash Force in warm-up

The Queensland Reds tuned up for the Super Rugby season in grand style, thrashing the Western Force 40-10 in Thursday night’s trial game in Perth.

Tries to Digby Ioane, James Horwill, Greg Holmes, Luke Morahan and Jono Lance were more than enough to sink the Force, who struggled to string phases together and will enter the season on the back of two heavy trial losses.

With Australia coach Robbie Deans watching from the stands, Queensland’s big names stood tall, with Will Genia sensational at scrumhalf and Ioane at his destructive best on the wing.

In contrast, the Force – beaten 25-0 by the Brumbies last week – lacked any fluency, with their only highlight of the night coming through Ben McCalman’s 71st-minute consolation try.

But the home side’s night was further soured when lock Sam Wykes limped off in the dying minutes with a leg injury.

The Force, already minus the likes of Nick Cummins (leg), Richard Brown (shoulder) and Nathan Sharpe (calf), lost winger Napolioni Nalaga before the match after the Fijian winger fell ill.

Force five-eighth James Stannard nailed the opening penalty of the night but from there it was all the Reds, who piled on 18 unanswered points to lead 18-3 by half-time.

Ioane started the rout in the 15th minute, crossing in the corner after the Force’s defence was caught short following a scrum.

Reds skipper Horwill added a second when the Reds, after a mountain of phases, finally broke through a dogged Force defence.

Immediately after the try, Force flanker Matt Hodgson was handed a yellow card after his involvement in a behind-the-play scrap.

The Reds took off big guns Horwill and the returning Anthony Fainga’a at half-time, but it failed to halt Queensland’s charge as Holmes and Morahan crossed for tries to put the visitors ahead 35-3 after 52 minutes.


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