NSW Waratahs beat Western Force 24-41 in a crazy Australian Super Rugby derby at HBF Park, Perth.
Alex Newsome bagged a two-minute brace to settle the Waratahs’ nerves, and see the Sydney side over the line against a feisty Western Force.
Both teams shared out 10 tries in a crazy contest that saw 31 points in the first 21 minutes, 12 in five minutes, and 15 in 13 fourth-quarter minutes.
Mark Nawaqanitawase, Lalakai Foketi, Michael Hooper, and Porecki also scored for the Waratahs as the east coast side dropped a forty-burger on the west coast franchise.
Tane Edmed had an eventful match in the first receiver role.
The 21-year-old playmaker kicked a penalty and four conversions (11 pts) to go with his two sublime assists.
Reesjan Pasitoa also had an eventful game, scoring either side of his 62nd-minute yellow card.
Tim Anstee and Andrew Ready crossed as well, while Ian Prior added two conversions (4 pts).
The Perth side fought back valiantly after going four scores down in the opening 15 minutes
However, Pasitoa’s yellow card saw Newsome take the game away from them with two quick scores.
Moreover, Tim Sampson’s team could make all their territory (68%) and possession (63) count.
Darren Coleman’s outfit made more than double the total tackles as the opposition (184-75) while conceding more turnovers (11-9).
Mahe Vailanu and Foketi both received late cards for the visitors, but it only cost a try as the Force ran out of steam.
Nawaqanitawase’s intercept, after the hooter, was called back for a knock-on by the winger, which chalked off a bonus point for the Tahs.
The Western Force was caught knapping at the start as NSW Waratahs’ three-try blitz stuns the home crowd
The Waratahs blitzed into a 24-point lead after only a quarter of an hour as the Sydney men tore the Western Force apart.
Nawaqanitawase, Foketi, and Hooper all dotted down before the sun had set in Western Australia.
Edmed, who set up Foketi with a scything linebreak in midfield, also kicked a penalty and converted all three tries.
Pasitoa pulled a try back, Prior converted, but this was a strange game.
The Waratahs had a big lead; however, the Force had all the possession (67%) and territory (81%) during the first stanza, which saw the Tahs’ tackle count almost triple the home team’s.
Edmed opened the scoring inside five minutes, but that was the least of the home team’s worries.
Three tries in seven frenetic minutes saw the Waratahs score 21 points
Nawaqanitawase intercepted Prior’s loose pass and raced half the field to score under the sticks.
Moments later, Edmed ghosted through Richard Kahui and Kane Koteka. The young standoff straightened and drew Jake Strachan before sending the supporting Foketi under the posts.
Things got worse for Sampson’s shellshocked team when Hooper scored one of the easiest tries of his illustrious career.
Hooper’s pick and go went unchallenged at the breakdown, and the flanker waltzed over untouched from the ruck to score his 29th Super Rugby try under the posts.
Edmed, even blindfolded, couldn’t miss any of the three conversions.
The Force did, however, hit back at the end of the first quarter when a series of penalties lead to Pasitoa taking Manasa Mataele’s pop-pass to score next to the posts.
Prior added the extras. The try kick-started a series of plays that saw the home team get back into the contest.
Handling errors proved costly as they searched for something, anything to get themselves back in the tie.
A mammoth 26-phase, three-plus minutes attack ended with nothing as the sides went into the shed.
Both sets of forwards took control as NSW Waratahs and Western Force score from driving mauls to kickstart the second half
The visitors came out firing as they did in the first 15 minutes, but it was the hosts who struck first.
Anstee drove his way over the try line after bumping off Hugh Sinclair and Edmed following the driving maul.
Prior missed; his conversion attempt shaved the righthand upright.
A penalty after the restart gave the Tahs a chance to kick to the corner, they did, and Porecki flopped over the whitewash.
Edmed curled his conversion through the poles to make it 31-12 after 52 minutes.
The mauling did not stop there, because the Force set up another lineout near the try line.
Ready, this time, had the honours of dotting down. Prior, from an angle, made no mistake.
Reesjan Pasitoa’s yellow card proved costly as Alex Newsome scores two tries in two minutes to kill the game
Twenty-year-old Pasitoa went to the sin bin after the hour for a cynical foul on the floor.
Jake Gordon opted for a scrum under the posts.
Gordon and Edmed went left to Newsome, who collected his flyhalf’s long, floated pass to finish in the corner.
The conversion was unsuccessful. Things continued to go wrong when the visitors scored a breathtaking try through Newsome again, off the kick-off.
Edmed again pushed his conversion attempt, but this game was done.
Vailanu went to the bin for a chop tackle on Greg Holmes, it looked harsh on the hooker.
Foketi followed soon after for a toting up offence by Coleman’s side, but it made no difference as the clock ran out.
Final Score: Western Force 24 (7) NSW Waratahs 41 (24)
Tries – Pasitoa (2), Anstee, Ready
Con – Prior (2)
Cards – Pasitoa (Yellow, 62′)
Tries – Nawaqanitawase, Foketi, Hooper, Porecki, Newsome (2)
Pen – Edmed
Con – Edmed (4)
Cards – Vailanu (Yellow, 72′), Foketi (Yellow, 76′)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: Kyle Burnett
Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byran Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin (captain), 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Ryan McCauley, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Harrison Lloyd.
Replacements: 16 Jack Winchester, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Jackson Pugh, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Michael McDonald, 22 Jake McIntrye, 23 Brad Lacey.
Waratahs: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Charlie Gamble, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Archer Holz, 19 Geoff Cridge, 20 Rahboni Warren-Yosayaco, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Will Harrison, 23 Jamie Roberts.