Super Rugby

Waratahs dispatch winless Western Force

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The NSW Waratahs beat the Western Force 8-28 in a scrappy Round Seven Super Rugby AU affair at Cbus Super Stadium, Robina.

The Waratahs never looked in danger of losing this Super Rugby clash as the outscored the Force three tries to one on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Alex Newsome, Jack Maddocks and Harry Johnson-Holmes all scored, while Byron Stander dotted down for the Western Force.

Rob Penney’s side also had two second-half tries chalked off by the TMO while keeping the Perth side scoreless after the 28th-minute of the match.

The Waratahs led 16-8 at the break in a see-sawing first half that saw both team’s score a try apiece.


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Will Harrison’s metronomic boot (29 from 31 all season) kept his side ahead and Alex Newsome got the ‘Tahs’ only try of the half.

The standoff kicked three penalties and a sideline conversion to cancel out Ian Prior’s lone penalty after Stander grabbed the first try of the game.

Maddocks increased New South Wales’ lead when he intercepted a wayward pass soon after the restart.

The 23-year-old had another try chalked off for obstruction in the second half, but it made no difference to the outcome.

The Force’s lineout continues to be atrocious, eight against the throw.

Questions need to be asked about the coaching as well as the forward’s inability to do the basics, especially at this level.

The ‘Tahs’ scrum began to win a series of scrum-penalties as they put their foot on the opposition’s throat, late in the game.

Jake Gordon had a try chalked off too, which kept the scoreline respectable for the sorry Western Force.

Johnson-Holmes barged over in the 80th-minute to add insult to injury as NSW moved into the second spot on the log.

The victory keeps the Waratahs in the hunt for a semi-final spot, while the Force languishes at the foot of the Super Rugby AU table without a win.

Late Waratahs charge sees the Sydney side finish the first-half well as they began to take control of the game.

Michael Hooper brought up 150 Super Rugby matches in a tight, scrappy affair on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

Harrison opened the scoring with a ninth-minute penalty, but the Force – who had dominated territory and possession the first quarter of an hour – struck in the 15th-minute.

A poor lineout by the Perth team led to a penalty at the next ruck. Jono Lance booted the ball from his 10-metre line to midway between the opposition’s 22m and 10m.

Despite slow ball at the breakdown, the Force managed to conjure something out of nothing.

Stander chased Richard Kahui’s well-weighted grubber, which nutmegged Newsome and somehow stayed infield.

The No 8 gathered the bouncing ball and dived over in the corner for the game’s first try.

Harrison, on 20 minutes, edged the Waratahs back in front with his second penalty after Prior’s missed the touchline conversion.

Penney’s charges had overturned the possession (65%) and territory statistics (55%) but still found themselves behind.

A botched lineout led to an attacking scrum to the opposition, who won a penalty from the set-piece.

Prior made no mistake this time as the men in blue regained the lead just before the half-hour.

Unfortunately, for Sampson’s men, they make a mess of yet another lineout that leads to a scrum-penalty for collapsing.

Harrison, kicking at 94% this season, made no mistake from out wide to make it 8-9.

Newsome crashed over in the corner after Lalakai Foketi’s break sent Gordon’s clear. The halfback was caught by two chasing defenders under the posts.

Maddocks got the quick ball after at the ruck after Harrison’s cleanout and sent a long, cutout pass to the winger, who gathered and dotted down in the corner.

The 21-year-old flyhalf added the touchline conversion to extend the lead to eight points.

The Sydney side, on the stroke of halftime, should have extended their two-score lead.

They went 25 phases, camped on the Force’s goal-line, however, could not convert the pressure into points, but the ‘Tahs took a two-score advantage into the shed.

The Waratahs turned the screw straight after halftime as the Force’s lineout disintegrated.

The Force began the half with another lost lineout before a scrappy throw led to Maddocks intercepting Lance’s loose cutout pass.

Maddocks read the standoff’s pass tp perfection and raced 55 metres to score. Harrison kicked his fifth kick in a row to open up a big 8-23 lead six minutes after the restart.

The Force slowly gained a foothold in the game.

Super Rugby AU Round Seven Video Highlights: Western Force versus NSW Waratahs at Cbus Super Stadium, Robina

A series of scrum penalties came to nothing, but a counter-attack saw the Perth men win an attacking lineout after Newsome was tackled out into touch.

But yet again, the chance went begging with another stolen lineout.

The coaches need to shoulder as much blame as their forwards because this is simply not good enough at this level.

Another series of possession inside the NSW 22 came to nothing.

A massive scrum from the Force saw Henry Stowers crash over; however, the TMO ruled Stowers had been held up.

Another scrum went down before Jack Dempsey conceded a penalty at the ruck.

Prior continued to go for the scrum when an attacking lineout-drive might have been the better option.

Kieran Longbottom infringed and the opportunity was gone.

By now, the Waratahs looked to seal the deal as the jaded Force folded meekly.

Maddocks thought he had a second on 61 minutes, but his score was chalked off.

The fullback took a flat pass, broke a tackle, and stormed to the try-line. It was a carbon-copy of his try versus the Reds.

Harry Johnson-Holmes, however, obstructed Andrew Ready from making the tackle, so TMO Brett Cronan reversed the on-field call.

Gordon, with five minutes remaining, he had another five-pointer after last weekend’s hat-trick.

Hunt collected Harrison’s chip-kick, sucked in two defenders and sent Gordon away for the try, but yet again, the TMO ruled the halfback offside after the kick.

Johnson-Holmes crashed over at the death to drive the dagger into the winless Force.

Final Score: Force 8 (8) Waratahs 28 (16)

Scorers

Force
Tries – Stander
Pen – Prior
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Waratahs
Tries – Newsome, Maddocks, Johnson-Holmes
Pen – Harrison (3)
Con – Harrison (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Amy Perrett
TMO: Brett Cronan

Teams

Western Force

15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (captain), 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Pek Cowan

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Atkins, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Jack McGregor

Waratahs

15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Te Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Joey Walton

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