Super Rugby

Western Force break Waratahs hearts at the death




The Western Force beat the NSW Waratahs 31-30 in a tense Super Rugby AU Round Nine clash at HBF Park in Perth, Western Australia.

Domingo Miotti kicked a walk-off penalty to win the ‘Battle of the Basement’ contest between the Western Force and the NSW Waratahs.

Someone had to end their long losing streak, and boy, there was nothing to separate the teams — except one point.

The Waratahs looked to have finally ended their winless run with a spirited display away to the Force, but alas, it was not to be.

The last-gasp victory gives the Force their first win in Super Rugby for four years at home, 1,373 days to be exact.

This is also only the second time in Super Rugby that the Western Australian franchise has done the double over their illustrious opponents.

Tim Sampson’s side withstood a four-minute, 20-phase attack that lasted until the 84th-minute before referee Amy Perrett nailed the Tahs for offside.

The penalty was straight in front of the posts and on the 22 – Miotti did not miss. Cue scenes as the jubilant supporters finally sipped from the cup of victory.

The gutwrenching defeat means the Waratahs continue their wretched winless run taking the losing streak to seven games.

As is the case when the Western Force or the Waratahs play in Super Rugby AU, the games are generally poor.

This was no exception, a game played between the two worst teams in Australia (Super Rugby, in fact), dwelling in the basement of Australia’s premier rugby tournament.

Both teams scored three tries in this tight affair; however, it was the boot of the home team’s 24-year-old Los Pumas flyhalf that proved the difference.

Miotti kicked two conversions, four penalties, and a drop-goal for a haul of 16 points. Ben Donaldson kicked three conversions and penalties for 15 points.

Force start strong, but Waratahs fight back despite playing with 14 men

The Force led 18-10 at the break after tries from front-rowers Tom Robertson, who crashed over from close range, and Feleti Kaitu’u, as well as the boot of Miotti.

New South Wales trailed 10-0 inside eight minutes after Lachlan Swinton’s second-minute yellow card for a tip-tackle.

The Sydney men, however, did not fold like they have been prone to do all season; instead, they fought back, scoring through Will Harris in the 16th-minute.

Donaldson converted and added a penalty as the Tahs drew level.

Kaitu’u raced away for a score, two minutes later after stripping the ball from his marauding partner Santiago Medrano.

Miotti missed the conversion, although, he did slot a drop-goal before halftime.

A dominant New South Wales throw away six- and nine-point leads after the break, losing in heartbreaking fashion

The Waratahs came out firing after the interval scoring twice in five minutes as they overturned the halftime deficit.

Jack Maddocks got the ball rolling on 43 minutes before turning provider for Alex Newsome, who scored in the corner.

Maddocks’ try came from a sublime team attack, the inter-passing was slick between backs and forwards, and it kept the home team on their heels.

Super Rugby AU Round 9 Video Highlights: Force vs NSW Waratahs at HBF Park, Perth

Newsome’s score was in a similar fashion, with Maddocks breaking the line before sending the winger away.

Donaldson converted both as NSW took a deserved lead. It kick-started a run of 14 unanswered points for the east coast franchise.

Miotti added a 52nd-minute penalty soon after to make it a three-point ball game as the Force stayed in touch.

Ill-discipline from the hosts saw Donaldson add two quick-fire penalties to open up a nine-point gap with 10 minutes remaining.

The hosts struggled with obstruction penalties from up-and-unders, conceding two in the game.

Western Force dig deep to claim the points after New South Wales meltdown

Sampson’s side struck moments later when Jordan Olowofela slid over in near the corner after a slick attack.

Miotti added the extras to cut the deficit to two in the final stages.

The young Argentina flyhalf missed a long-range effort from inside his half.

Then Brynard Stander allowed himself to be tackled into touch instead of cutting inside when the hosts were on the attack inside the visitor’s 22.

But a lost lineout, seconds before the hooter, saw the hosts begin a counter-attack that lasted an age before the tiring Tahs’ defenders’ strayed offside allowing Miotti to steal the points, and break their hearts.

The crowd roared at the final whistle, a deafening cheer to bring in a rare, long-awaited home win.

For the vanquished, the long wait goes on.

Final Score: Western Force 31 (18) Waratahs 30 (10)


Western Force
Tries – Robertson, Kaitu’u, Olowofela
Pen – Miotti (3)
Con – Miotti (2)
Drop – Miotti
Cards –

Tries – Harris, Maddocks, Newsome
Pen – Donaldson (3)
Con – Donaldson (3)
Drop –
Cards – Swinton (Yellow, 2′)

Match Officials
Referee: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Matthew Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie


Western Force

15 Jack McGregor, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin (captain), 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 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 Fergus Lee-Warner, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Grason Makara, 23 Jake Strachan


15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 James Ramm, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Max Douglas, 4 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

16 Tom Horton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Jeremy Williams, 21 Charlie Gamble, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Tane Edmed

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