Jono Lance scored 15 points to help the Force beat the Reds 22-6 in Brisbane on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
While the wet conditions made handling and kicking difficult, both teams will lament a high-error rate. Neither the Reds nor the Force managed to build an attack and threaten the tryline for 79 of the 80 minutes.
Lance kicked three penalty goals in the first half to ensure that the visitors went to the break with a 9-3 lead. The flyhalf then added three more points in the 50th minute to stretch the lead to nine points.
The Reds disappointed in general play and in front of goal. Ayumu Goromaru, their big signing for the 2016 season, missed two of his four penalty attempts. The Japanese fullback did find his radar in the 67th minute to bring the Reds back within six points of the Force.
In the 73rd minute, however, the Reds conceded a penalty right in front of their posts. Lance made no mistake in kicking the goal and restoring the nine-point buffer.
Lance then produced a great kick in open play to set up Luke Morahan for a try in the 80th minute. The Force finished with a deserved win, while the Reds failed to obtain a losing bonus point.
Reds – Penalties: Ayumu Goromaru (2).
Force – Try: Luke Morahan. Conversion: Ian Prior. Penalties: Jono Lance (5).
Reds – 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Curtis Browning, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Cadeym Neville, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Saia Fainga’a, 1 Ben Daley.
Subs:16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Ben Matwijow, 20 Michael Gunn, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Greene, 23 Junior Laloifi.
Force – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni (Junior Rasolea), 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Guy Millar, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haslett-Petty, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Marcel Brache.
Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images