Force douse Dragons’ fire

Luke Morahan scored two tries as the Force beat the Asia Pacific Dragons 34-26 in Perth on Saturday.

The Force backed up their impressive 28-0 win over the Hurricanes 10 days ago with a six-try win against the Dragons, although their defensive deficiencies were exposed in the second encounter.

First-half tries by Angus Cottrell, captain Matt Hodgson, Morahan and Dane Haylett-Petty coupled with two conversions by Jono Lance put the hosts 24-5 up at the break.

Morahan extended that advantage at the resumption with his second five-pointer, but the Dragons fought back with two converted tries to trail 29-19. Towards the latter stages of the contest, the teams traded scores again, but the hosts did enough to hold on for the win.

The Force will open their Super Rugby campaign against the Rebels on 27 February.

Force – Tries: Angus Cottrell, Matt Hodgson, Luke Morahan (2), Dane Haylett-Petty, Junior Rasolea. Conversions: Jono Lance (2).
Asia Pacific Dragons – Tries: Ben Nee-Nee, TBC (3). Conversions: TBC (3).

Western Force – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Albert Nikoro, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Chris Alcock, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Kane Koteka, 23 Ian Prior, 24 Peter Grant, 25 Solomoni Rasole, 26 Ammon Matuauto, 27 Semisi Masirewa, 28 Maalonga Konelio, 29 Rory Walton, 30 Junior Rasolea.

Asia Pacific Dragons – 15 Willy Walker, 14 Shannon Chase, 13 Rico Gear, 12 Karl Ropati, 11 Afa Fa’atau, 10 Michael Little, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 Matt Vaai, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Gerard Tuloti-Mariner, 4 Michael Stolberg, 3 Taniela Koroi, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Subs: 16. Seilala Lam, 17. Sam Aiono, 18. Solomona Sakalia, 19. Hale T-Pole, 20. Onosai Auva’a , 21. Kurt Davies, 22. James Faiva, 23. Tu Umaga Marshall, 24. Fa’autu Tuaimalo.

Photo: Western Force

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Mariette Adams