Super Rugby

Blues beat Western Force in Perth




The Blues are undefeated in their last nine Super Rugby games against the Western Force (W8, D1), conceding an average of just 17 points per game in that span; their only defeat to the Force came in Round 5, 2008 (27-17).

Although the Western Force has never won at home against the Blues in Super Rugby (D1, L4), they have managed to log competition points from three of their last four such meetings (one draw, two losing bonus points).

  • The Western Force have lost 12 of their last 14 Super Rugby games (W2), including their last three in succession.
  • The Force has lost their last 21 consecutive games against New Zealand opponents, last winning in Round 6, 2014 against the Chiefs (18-15).
  • The Blues have won 15 of their last 16 Super Rugby games (L1), including their last eight on the bounce; the last and only previous time they won more in succession, was a 12-game run to clinch the 1997 Super Rugby title.
  • The Kiwis have won their last six Super Rugby games against Australian opponents, winning by an average margin of 23 points.
  • The Blues have crossed the gainline on 66% of gainline carries in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign.
  • Leon MacDonald’s side has scored a try with 47% of their attacking 22m entries, the highest rate of any team in the competition, the Western Force (28%).
  • Players to watch

  • AJ Lam has crossed for four tries across his last four Super Rugby games, including a brace against Fijian Drua in Round 10.
  • Kyle Godwin has scored one try in three of his last four Super Rugby games on home turf after scoring only once in his 19 games at home.
  • Rieko Ioane has made four break-assists via offloads in 2022, more than any other player in the competition. and three more than any Force player.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in Perth.

4.00: PENALTY! Bayley Kuenzle opens the scoring. 3-0

5.00: YELLOW CARD! Sam Darry is off for 10 minutes for toting up offences for offsides. 3-0

8.00: The Force is in charge in Perth, they are camped inside the Blues’ 22.

9.00: TRY! The Force goes 19 phases before Issak Fines-Leleiwasa sends a double skip-pass out wide to Manasa Mataele, who beats AJ Lam to the corner for his 22nd Super Rugby try. 8-0

10.00: MISS! Kuenzle cannot convert. 8-0

12.00: An eight-phase attack leads to a kickable penalty in front of the poles for the Blues.

13.00: PENALTY! Beauden Barrett puts his side on the board. 8-3

15.00: It’s all Blues at the moment, the Kiwis are gaining some much-needed momentum.

18.00: TRY! An 18-phase attack ends with Darry, back on the field, bashing himself over the chalk from around a ruck on the try line. 8-8

20.00: CONVERSION! Barrett splits the uprights. 8-10

22.00: TRY! The Blues win a turnover inside the opposition’s half after Reesjan Pasitoa got isolated, and counter-attacked to the line. Mcdonald’s men went patiently through the phases before Akira Ioane, in his first game of the season, barged through Tom Robertson and Izack Rodda to score. 8-15

23.00: CONVERSION! Barrett adds the extras. 8-17

26.00: Despite the Blues fighting back to take a good lead, the Force have looked good with the ball in hand, they just need to turn pressure into points.

28.00: Barrett kicks a penalty to the 22.

30.00: TRY! AJ Lam takes Roger Tuivasa-Sheck’s outrageous chicken-wing pass and dives over to score in the corner. Tuivasa-Sheck sucked in Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and managed to offload to Lam, who finished expertly with one hand inside the flag. 8-22

32.00: MISS! The conversion attempt is well wide. 8-22

35.00: You get the feeling that Western Force needs to score before the break if they are to stay in with a shot. Force kick another penalty to the Blues’ 22.

37.00: More superb counter-rucking from the Kiwis kills the home team’s attack. Instead, it is the NZ side with the late flourish.

40.00: The Blues attack, lose the ball and the Force decide to counter from halfway, but nothing comes from the move.

42.00: Poor handling kills a last-ditch effort for the Blues.

The halftime score was Force 8 Blues 22

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in Western Australia.

43.00: YELLOW CARD! Not the start the Force will have wanted as Santiago Medrano goes to the bin. 8-22

45.00: Superb defending by the Force, who hold up Anton Segner for a goalline dropout.

47.00: Finlay Christie’s low pass is not taken by Barrett, and the ball rolls over the dead ball line. The Force win a penalty from the scrum, and they go quickly before winning another penalty.

51.00: Three straight penalties keep the Blues under pressure on their line – next problem is a yellow.

53.00: Kurt Eklund is a lucky boy, the hooker looked to have hit Tom Robertson on the head, but the officials deem Eklund’s shoulder hit the ball.

55.00: All Blues at the minute, they look likely to increase the lead and kill the game.

58.00: Tuivasa-Sheck gets back to save the day for his team.

59.00: Blues win the scrum penalty to clear the danger.

60.00: Somehow, it’s still scoreless in the second half.

63.00: TRY! Jeremy Thrush barges his way over the try line after a powerful leg-drive. 13-22

64.00: MISS! Kuenzle cannot add the extars. 13-22

68.00: This strange game gets stranger, but no points are being scored.

71.00: Western Force could pull off an upset; however, they need to be clinical, the Blues look like they are fading.

74.00: Force go close again, but Barrett clears; it’s all Sampson’s men at the end.

75.00: The hosts get another penalty, surely the ref needs to show yellow!

76.00: TRY! The Force kicked to the 22, and set up an attack on the try line. Several phases later, Bo Abra scored his debut SR try. 18-22

77.00; MISS! Kuenzle hits the post.

80.00; The Force in a lineout after a skew throw.

83.00: The Force get another penalty, and kick to the corner.

85.00: The Blues are on the back foot, the Force are getting closer.

87.00: The Blues win the turnover, and kick out for the W. That was insane, the Force went 3m26s over 26 phases, but could not find a way through the blue wall.


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The final score is Western Force 18 (8) Blues 22 (22)


Western Force
Tries – Mataele, Thrush, Abra
Pen – Kuenzle
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Medrano (Yellow, 43′)

Tries – Darry, A. Ioane, Lam
Pen – B. Barrett
Con – B. Barrett (2)
Drop –
Cards – Darry (Yellow, 5′)

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


Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 8 Ollie Callan, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Ryan McCauley, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u (captain), 1 Tom Robertson.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Alex Masibaka, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Richard Kahui.

Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 AJ Lam, 13 Bryce Heem, 12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Anton Segner, 7 Dalton Papalii (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.

16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 James Tucker, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Taufa Funaki, 22 Tanielu Tele’a, 23 Mark Telea.

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