Force beat Highlanders in Perth




The Highlanders are on their way back from South Africa and will be tired. The Force will also have just returned from South Africa but they will be all fired up for a number of reasons.


It will be their last match at the “Subi” and a fair number of players will also being making their final appearances in sky blue.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick off.


0.43: The Force on fire as Ryan Cross dots down the ball from almost the kick off. At 43 seconds that must be the Force’s fastest try.


2.00: Matt Giteau misses the conversion.


4.00: The Force are full of running against the Highlanders. They swing the ball out to the wings but a knock on goes in.


7.00: The Force are turning out to be the Force they have always promied to be as Scott Staniforth scores their second try in the corner.


8.00: Matt Giteau takes the conversion and curls it in but it drops short.


10.00: The Highlanders are coming back into the match as they run the ball into the Force’s half. Jimmy Cowan has a dart off the back of the ruck but the Force’s defence is strong.


13.00: The Highlanders snipe back at the Force and Fetu’u Vainikolo looks to have scored a try in the corner. We go upstairs to check but the replay shows his knee is in touch. No try.


17.00: The Force get a penalty so Matt Giteau takes the kick and adds three points.


21.00: Tamaiti Horua is helped from the field so his night is over.


24.00: Another penalty for the Force so Matt Giteau takes the kick and nails it.


27.00: Sam Wykes comes off for the Force who are losing forwards at an alarming rate.


34.00: The Force start to work the ball forward but as they get to the Highlanders 25 the Highlanders turn the ball over. It’s fairly even now given the big start from the Force.


39.00: WOW, Matt Giteau puts in a high chip kick for Drew Mitchell in space, he gathers the ball and  passes to Staniforth who runs in and scores his second try.


40.00: Matt Giteau nails the conversion.


The siren goes for half time but we play on….The Highlanders run the ball. They win another free kick and then get walked back for 10m for kicking the ball away. There is an obstruction so the Force get a free kick and boot it out.


The half time score was Force 23 Highlanders 0


The second half is underway.


43.00: Daniel Bowden starts to take control of the game and the Highlanders finally get on the board as Ben Smith scores a try for the visitors.


44.00: Daniel Bowden slots the conversion.


49.00: The Highlanders give away a penalty so Matt Giteau takes the kick and nails it.


52.00: Drew Mitchell decide to attack on the wings and Haig Sare runs in a quick and it must be said easy try. Thats a bonus point for the Force.


53.00:Matt Giteau curls the conversion in beautifully.


58.00: The Highlanders show how dangerous they can be as Israel Dagg flies off and has a long run. He passes to Shoemark but the pass goes to ground.


64.00:The Force again use the chip kick up to get through the Highlanders but Ben Smith catches the ball and simply runs straight through the Force who are all running at pace the wrong way.


65.00: Bowden converts the try.


65.00: Jimmy Cowan uses the chip kick and it goes high for Shoemark and he passes to Tom Donnelly who runs in the try even though Donnelly was well offside.


66.00: Bowden again converts the try. What a comeback.


70.00: Fetu’u Vainikolo races off to score a try for the Highlanders but he is called back for a forward pass.   


76.00: Ben Smith has another run down the wing. The Highlanders ar not giving up at all. Smith has made an enormous impact this half.


78.00: Penalty to the Force. They kick for touch.


80.00: The Highlanders manage to get the ball to Jimmy Cowan who bolts off to score a try under the posts as the hooter sounds.


81.00: Daniel Bowden slots the conversion.


Full report to follow.



The final score is Force 33 Highlanders 28


Tries –  Cross, Staniforth 2, Sare
Pen – Matt Giteau 2
Con – Matt Giteau
Drop –

Tries – Smith 2, Donnelly, Cowan
Pen –
Con – Bowden 4
Drop –

Head-to-Head: Played 3, Highlanders 2, Force 1
In Perth: Played 1, Highlanders 1, Force 0
Last season: Round 6, March 22 2008: Force 36-28 Highlanders at Queenstown Events Centre

Last three results
2008 Force won 36-28 in Queenstown
2007 Highlanders won 7-8 in Perth
2006 Highlanders won 22-25 in Dunedin

Match Officials
Referee: Nathan Pearce (Australia)
Touch judges: Matt Goddard (Australia), Stephen Hill (Australia)
Television match official: Julian Pritchard (Australia)
Assessor: Wayne Erickson (Australia)


Force: 1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. AJ Whalley,4. Sam Wykes,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Matt Hodgson,7. David Pocock,8. Tamaiti Horua,9. Josh Valentine,10. Matt Giteau ,11. Nick Cummins,12. Josh Tatupu,13. Ryan Cross,14. Scott Staniforth,15. Drew Mitchell

Reserves:16. Ben Whittaker,17. Troy Takiari,18. Tom Hockings,19. Richard Stanford,20. Chris O’Young,21. Junior Pelesasa,22. Haig Sare

Highlanders :1 Jamie Mackintosh , 2 David Hall , 3 Clint Newland , 4 Hayden Triggs , 5 Tom Donnelly , 6 Adam Thomson , 7 Alando Soakai , 8 George Naoupu, 9 Jimmy Cowan (C) , 10 Daniel Bowden , 11 Fetu’u Vainikolo , 12 Johnny Leota , 13 Jason Shoemark , 14 Ben Smith , 15 Israel Dagg

Reserves: 16. Jason Rutledge , 17. Chris King, 18. Josh Bekhuis , 19. Steven Setephano, 20. Sean Romans, 21. Jayden Hayward/ Matthew Berquist, 22. Kendrick Lynn

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