Super Rugby

Spirited Force fightback against wretched Waratahs




The Western Force upset the NSW Waratahs 16-20 in an attritional Round Three Super Rugby AU clash at Bankwest Stadium, Sydney.

The Force’s historic win ends a nine-game losing streak going back to 2017, giving the western Australian franchise only their second win in the last six Super Rugby matches against the Sydney side.

Fergus Lee-Warner and Tom Anstee both crossed for scores as the visitors overturned a two-score deficit to record a historic Super Rugby victory on Australia’s east coast.

Another dreadful defeat leaves the Waratahs without a win in SuperRugby AU this season. They remain rooted to the foot of the table without a point and a minus 89 points differential.

Losing to a side who had been booted from the southern hemisphere’s showpiece tournament, and without a win in four years, is embarrassing.

But Tim Sampson’s charges deserved this hard-fought win. The visitors held their hosts to only three points in the second half (and three from the 23rd-minute) as they snuffed the life from a beleaguered Waratahs.

NSW cannot get a win. Instead, manufacturing different ways to lose. This was another head-scratching display bereft of cutting edge, and full of unforced errors.

Sampson’s side outscored Rob Penney’s men two tries two one, they were, however, by far the better team on both attack and defence.

Andrew Ready’s 65th-minute red card for punching forced the Perth-based side to play with 14 men for the remainder of the contest. They could have played with 13 and still have won this game.

New South Wales Waratahs start strong but fade away as Western Force fightback

Penney’s side controlled the opening half-hour, taking a 13-nil lead after 23 minutes. However, the visitors kept their composure, scoring a converted try and penalty to reduce the deficit to three points at the break.

Will Harrison converted David Porecki’s fifth-minute score –– from a well-worked driving maul –– and kicked two penalties. Jake McIntyre converted Lee Warner’s 32nd-minute try and added a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Both teams had several chances to score in the third quarter, but despite having multiple double-digit phase attacks, they could not finish.

Super Rugby AU Round Three Video Highlights: Waratahs vs Western Force, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

The handling was particularly poor from the hosts, who botched several good opportunities. Instead, it was the visitors who struck after a 16-phase bombardment of the home team’s line.

Anstee broke free of some weak tackling and stormed into the opposition’s 22 before offloading to the supporting Lee Warner. McIntyre’s conversion and a 36th-minute penalty made it 13-10 at the half.

Force take the lead then hang on for a well-deserved away win

The Force continued where they left off after the restart, scoring with one of their long series of attacks inside the Waratahs’ 22.

Anstee – who set up Lee-Warner’s first-half try – dotted down on 54 minutes following a slick forward move from a lineout near the Tahs’ goal-line.

McIntyre added the extras to cap a 23-minute 17-point turnaround. They had, by now, asserted themselves on their illustrious opponents.

Western Force kept New South Wales scoreless for 50 minutes before Harrison reduced the gap to one-point seven minutes from time.

But points were scarce for both teams, who just could not handle the ball, knocking on in crucial positions when scoring seemed easier.

As time went on, and both teams’ frustrations with their own mistakes grew, so the tempers began to fray. On 65 minutes a TMO review called for referee Nic Berry to issue a red card for dangerous and foul play.

Substitute Western Force hooker Ready got his marching orders for punching an opponent.

Ready’s sending off did not prove costly, however, because his side defended ferociously right up until the end, keeping another 14+phase attack at bay.

With less than three minutes remaining, the Force won a scrum-penalty. Ian Prior stepped up and nailed the touchline kick to end his team’s longstanding losing streak.

Final Score: Waratahs 16 (13) Western Force 20 (10)


Tries – Porecki
Pen – Harrison (3)
Con – Harrison
Drop –
Cards –

Western Force
Tries – Lee-Warner, Anstee
Pen – McIntyre, Prior
Con – McIntyre (2)
Drop –
Cards – Ready (Red, 65′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan



15 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Alex Newsome (captain), 12 Tepai Moeroa, 11 James Ramm, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jack Grant, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Sam Caird, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Te Tera Faulkner.

Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Sio Tatola, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Jeremy Williams, 21 Henry Robertson, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Triston Reilly.

Western Force

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Tevita Kuridrani. 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander (captain), 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tom Anstee, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson.

16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Marcel Brache.

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.