The Waratahs cruised to a comfortable 28-8 win over the Western Force in their Super Rugby AU showdown in Perth on Friday.
The Force have put in a couple of decent performances so far in the competition, but came into this contest still searching for that elusive maiden Super Rugby AU victory. By contrast, the Waratahs sauntered into the game on the back of a commanding 45-12 win over the Reds.
It wasn’t the best of starts, as both sides struggled to settle into a rhythm. But despite their malfunctioning lineup and scrum, the Force managed to score the opening try when Brynard Stander chased down Richard Kahui’s well-weighted grubber to score.
Force lead – with the help of a VERY lucky bounce ‼️ 🔥
— Fox Rugby (@FOXRUGBY) August 14, 2020
But their time in front didn’t last long as the Waratahs slotted three penalties for a slender 9-8 lead.
Based on both the scoreline and the two sides’ sketchy performance up to that stage, there was nothing to suggest that either team were clear-cut favourites to emerge as winners.
But momentum swung the way of the visitors who landed a double strike with a try either side of the break to race out to a 23-8 advantage.
Despite the Waratahs having two tries disallowed, one for obstruction and one for offside, that lead proved to be unassailable. But there was still time for another five-point through reserve prop Harry Johnson-Holmes who burrowed over from close quarters to seal a comprehensive win for his side.
Western Force – Try: Brynard Stander. Penalty: Jake Strachan.
Waratahs – Tries: Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks, Harry Johnson-Holmes. Conversions: Will Harrison (2). Penalties: Harrison (3).
Force – 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Atkins, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Jack McGregor.
Waratahs – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Te Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Joey Walton.
Photo: Rugby Australia/Twitter