Site icon Super Rugby Pacific | Super Rugby Championship news, results and fixtures from Super XV rugby

O’Connor stars in Queensland Reds win over Western Force

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: Fraser McReight of the Reds celebrates crossing for a try during the round three Super Rugby Pacific match between the Western Force and the Queensland Reds at HBF Park on March 04, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queensland Reds beat the Western Force 16-29 in a hard-fought Australian Super Rugby Pacific derby at HBF Park, Perth.

The Queensland Reds scored twice in each half to claim all five points against a blunt Western Force team looking to claim back-to-back home wins against the Reds for the first time since 2015.

Hamish Stewart, Jock Campbell, Josh Flook, and Fraser McReight dotted down for the Reds. Kyle Godwin scored the Force’s only try.

James O’Connor starred for the Reds. The 31-year-old standoff had a hand in all four tries in another remarkable Super Rugby performance.

- 2022 Super Rugby Pacific fixtures
- Latest Rugby betting odds
- Follow us on Facebook / Twitter

He assisted in Flook and McReight’s five-pointers, and he set up McReight, who assisted Stewart’s score.

Stewart and the flyhalf also helped set up Campbell’s try. O’Connor landed a penalty and three conversions (9 points) as well.

The Queensland Reds edged the Western Force 15-13 after the first half. A tight second half broke open when the Reds scored twice in the fourth quarter to claim the points.

Brad Thorn’s side dominated both territory and possession in the opening stanza, yet they found themselves behind at the break.

Stewart and Campbell each crossed for the Reds after counter-attacks caught the home team off guard.

Godwin dotted down for the Force on 31 minutes to cut the gap to two.

Strachan knocked over a late penalty, but O’Connor’s goal, after the hooter, put Thorn’s men back ahead.

A Strachan penalty was all the Force had to show for their efforts despite playing with an extra man for 10 minutes of the last quarter.

Tim Sampson’s side fell away far too easily as O’Connor ripped them apart with a dazzling display from first receiver.

The veteran standoff converted both Flook and McReight’s tries as Queensland claimed the bonus-point win and another away victory against fellow Aussie opposition.

A see-sawing opening 40 minutes saw the scores change hands several times as each side tried to assert themselves

The visitors began on the back foot Reds skipper Lukhan Salakaia-Loto left the field with an ankle injury after four minutes.

Strachan’s seventh-minute penalty opened the scoring for the home team.

Queensland, however, struck soon afterwards when O’Connor’s deft pass put Fraser McReight through a gap. The try came from a mistake off the restart by the Force’s forwards.

The flanker carried to the 22, drew the defender before putting Stewart away for the score. O’Connor converted.

Despite the scoreline, the hosts had their guests under a lot of pressure. Thorn’s charges leaked penalties at an alarming rate (8-1 inside the first 25 minutes).

Somehow, the Perth side could not punish the ill-discipline. Poor handling and game management cost Sampson’s side sure points.

It was, instead, the Reds who struck before the half hour when Campbell beat Toni Pulu to score against the run of play.

O’Connor combined with Stewart and Jordan Petaia to send the fullback in the corner. The conversion went wide, but Reds led 12-3.

The Force did not get down on themsleves. Moreover, they struck five minutes later after some sublime halfback play by Issak Fines-Leleiwasa.

Fines-Leleiwasa broke to the right of a midfield scrum and put in a well-judged chip-kick that caught Queensland out.

The scrumhalf’s kick bounced behind the goal-line and into the arms Godwin, who beat the cover defence to dot down.

Strachan’s conversion made it a two-point ball game.

Feao Fotuaika went to the naughty step which allowed Strachan to put the home team ahead. However, O’Connor chalked off the fullback’s goal with one of his own.

A tight second half saw both teams battle with disciplne and scoring

The second half was a bit of a mess. Both teams could not find the whitewash, the hits were coming in, one that saw Hunter Paisami go to the bin after a dangerous tackle on the hour.

Queensland had several opportunities to claim points as they camped inside the opposition’s 22.

Strachan knocked over his third penalty for the second half’s first points on 63 minutes.

Fotuaika’s card did not prove costly; instead, the Brisbane-based franchise scored a converted try while down to 14 players: a net gain of four points after the Force penalty.

The game turned inside four minutes when the Reds scored twice through Flook and McReight.

On 66 minutes, Flook chased down O’Connor’s pin-point grubber, and scored in the corner with an acrobatic finish.

Four minutes later, the 30-year-old playmaker stood up Godwin, threw a dummy that sent Pulu wide. It opened the gap for McReight, who timed his run to perfection.

O’Connor, who set up both tries, converted both to essentially kill the game. The Force were spent.

Final Score: Western Force 16 (13) Queensland Reds 29 (15)


Western Force
Tries – Godwin
Pen – Strachan (3)
Con – Strachan
Drop –
Cards –

Queensland Reds
Tries – Stewart, Campbell, Flook, McReight
Pen – O’Connor
Con – O’Connor (3)
Drop –
Cards – Fotuaika (Yellow, 38′), Paisami (Yellow, 60′)

Match Officials
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 2:Jordan Kaminski
TMO: Kyle Burnett


Western Force

15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 8 Tim Anstee, 7 Ollie Callan, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u (captain), 1 Tom Robertson

16 Jack Winchester, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Grason Makara


15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Josh Flook, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Kalani Thomas, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Seru Uru, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (captain), 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Feao Fotuaika, 2 Josh Nasser, 1 Dane Zander

16 Matt Faessler, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Tuaina Tualima, 21 Spencer Jeans, 22 Lawson Creighton, 23 Mac Grealy

Exit mobile version