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Waratahs hang on to beat the Force

Sekope Kepu wrestles with Matt Hodgson

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Article Published: Friday 13 April 2012






The Waratahs held on to their unbeaten status in Perth when they held on to beat the Force 18-23 at the NIB Stadium on Friday.

The Force have played the Waratahs five times in Perth and lost all five Super Rugby matches.

The result moves the Waratahs provisionally up to second place in the Australian Conference ahead of the Brumbies who started the Round 8 on top of the Conference.

Both teams scored two tries each but the Waratahs kicked four penalties through Brendan McKibbin and Berrick Barnes compared to David Harvey's two penalties.

Ironically both teams also spent time in the match reduced to 14 players as Salesi Ma'afu and Bernard Foley were both shown yellow cards.

The Force have the bye next week while the Waratahs fly back to Sydney for an Australian Conference clash with the Rebels.

The Waratahs had to withstand a spirited second-half fightback by theForce to eke out the victory

The Waratahs got off to a strong start with tries from Tom Kingston in the 31st minute and Dave Dennis in the 42nd.

However, the home side rallied and grabbed the lead late in the match with 15 unanswered points, with Brett Sheehan and Alfie Mafi scoring tries.

A David Harvey penalty in the 63rd minute put the Force in front 18-17.

At that stage the Force were totally dominating possession and looked to be in control heading into the last 15 minutes of the match.

However, two late penalties from Berrick Barnes lifted the Waratahs to their third win of the season as the Force suffered yet another heartbreaking loss at home.

The Force made one desperate late surge to try to snatch the lead back in the dying seconds only for Nick Cummins to lose the ball forward on the 22m line.

However, referee Glen Jackson gave them one final chance from the resulting scrum when he awarded the Force a last scrum of their own.

However, the Tahs forced a penalty and kicked the ball into touch to end the match.

It was the second thrilling match between the sides this season, the Force winning their previous encounter a month ago in Sydney by one point.

Tahs captain Benn Robinson conceded his team, which led 10-3 at half-time, nearly blew it.

"It was a tough night, we didn't control the momentum," he said.

"The second half we had some stupid errors and stupid penalties and let them back into the game."

Force skipper David Pocock said his side lacked composure in the final minutes.

"A very disappointing performance," he said.

"The Waratahs held it together for the last 20 minutes and that was when our composure was lacking."

Final Score Force 18 (3) Waratahs 23 (10)

Scorers

Force
Tries - B. Sheehan, A. Mafi
Pen - D. Harvey 2
Con - D. Harvey
Drop -
Cards - S. Ma'afu

Waratahs
Tries - T. Kingston, D. Dennis
Pen - B. McKibbin, B. Barnes 2
Con - B. McKibbin 2
Drop -
Cards - B. Foley

Match Officials
Referee:
Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1: Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2: Julian Pritchard
TMO: George Ayoub

Teams

Waratahs

15. Bernard Foley, 14. Tom Kingston, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Tom Carter, 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10. Berrick Barnes (vc), 9. Brendan McKibbin, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Dean Mumm, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson (c).

Replacements: 16. John Ulugia , 17. Paddy Ryan , 18. Sitaleki Timani , 19. Lopeti Timani , 20. Jono Jenkins , 21. Sarel Pretorius, 22. Daniel Halangahu.

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan, 2. Nathan Charles, 3. Salesi Ma'afu, 4. Toby Lynn, 5. Nathan Sharpe, 6. Richard Brown, 7. David Pocock (c), 8. Matt Hodgson, 9. Brett Sheehan, 10. David Harvey, 11. Cameron Shepherd, 12. Winston Stanley, 13. Nick Cummins, 14. Rory Sidey, 15. Alfie Mafi.

Reserves: 16. Elvis Taione, 17. Kieran Longbottom, 18. Phoenix Battye, 19. Ben McCalman, 20. Josh Holmes, 21. Cameron Shepherd, 22. Patrick Dellit.

 
 
 
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