The Western Force created history by becoming the first team to score two power tries in a match, and they need each and every one of those points to keep a ferocious Kagifa Samoa side at bay at Ballymore. The 16 point final margin flattered the Force who were under pressure all day from a Samoan side that played with flair and aggression and were unlucky not to notch up a win in their fourth and final game of the Pacific Showcase.
An enthusiastic crowd turned out on a beautiful day for rugby in the Queensland capital and were treated to a 10 try thriller as neither side left anything on the park.
The last time the teams played there was also 10 tries scored however it was a lopsided count of nine to one in favour of the Force. You could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be more of the same when the West Australian’s had their first try within a minute and a half of kick-off.
Instead of dropping their heads, the Kagifa Samoa players used that disappointment to spark themselves into action and they were the better side for the majority of the first half, scoring the next two tries, and would have had a third but for a knock on as David Feliuai was crossing the try line.
However, for all their good work, Kagifa Samoa were put on the back foot following a masterful piece of play from the Western Force. With the ball in their own in-goal area and the hooter having sounded for half time, the Force threw caution the wind.
It came as no surprise that the play started in the hands of Issak Fines. The standout scrumhalf created an opening where there wasn’t one to find, and when that was closed down, had the presence of mind to offload to the supporting run of Jack McGregor before Rod Davis found himself with the pill. He turned on the afterburners, living up to his nickname ‘Rocket’, to secure a 9-point power try and put the force up by two going into the sheds.
Again, Kagifa Samoa regrouped and responded positively, landing the first blow of the second half with a well worked try to wrestle back the lead.
While the home side had their tails up, the Force, who are unbeaten in their 2019 Global Rapid Rugby campaign, can never be counted out, and produced a devastating 11 minute, three try burst.
Fines was instrumental, scoring two of the three tries, including a power try, that turned a five point deficit into a 16 point lead.
There was time enough for a another try at either end for the crowd to enjoy, but the work done in that earlier spell by the Force saw them celebrate a hard fought victory when the final hooter sounded.
Both sides earned a bonus point for scoring at least four tries each in the game. That point could be crucial for the Force who are now five points clear of Fijian Latui on top of the Pacific Showcase ladder but play the Fijian’s in Perth next Friday night. With a potential of six points up for grabs, the race to the Pacific Showcase crown is well and truly alive!
Western Force v Fijian Latui
Friday, 21 June 2019 at HBF Park, Perth
Tickets just $10 – find out more
Starting XV: 1.Andrew STOWERS, 2.JP SAUNI, 3.Sam AIONO, 4.Michael MCKEE, 5.Nili MOALA, 6.Callum ADAMS, 7.Laga FASAVALU, 8.Dylan LAM, 9.Leon FUKOFUKA (C), 10.Sheldon TARAWA, 11.David FELIUAI, 12.Pakisonasi AFU, 13.Tino MAFOE, 14.Ah Mu TUIMALEALIIFANO, 15.Kalione HALA
Reserves: 16.Frank MALU, 17.Misioka TIMOTEO, 18.Daniel ANAE, 19.Sione TU’IPULOTU, 20.Jeremiah SKELTON, 21.Tim SIPPEL, 22.Maui HAUSIA, 23.Chris KURIDRANI
Starting XV: 1.Harrison LLOYD, 2.Feleti KAITU’U, 3.Kieran LONGBOTTOM, 4.Johan BARDOUL, 5.Fergus LEE WARNER, 6.Henry STOWERS, 7.Chris ALCOCK, 8.Brynard STANDER, 9.Issak FINES, 10.AJ ALATIMU, 11.Rod DAVIES, 12.Rodney IONA, 13.Marcel BRACHE (C), 14.Masivesi DAKUWAQA, 15.Jack McGREGOR
Reserves: 16.Andrew READY 17.Markus VANZATI, 18.Tom SHEMINANT, 19.Ben GRANT, 20.Tevin FERRIS, 21.Rory O’Sullivan, 22.Andrew DEEGAN, 23.Clay UYEN
Referee: Aaron Pook, AR1: Jordan Way, AR2: Andrew TWIST, TMO: Rohan Hoffmann
|1:28||F.Lee Warner (WF)||Try||Force by 5||0 – 5|
|2:00||A.Alatimu (WF)||Conversion||Force by 7||0 – 7|
|11:00||A.Stowers (KS)||Try||Force by 2||5 – 7|
|12:03||K.Hala (KS)||Conversion||Tied||7 – 7|
|20:03||O.Moala (KS)||Try||Samoa by 5||12 – 7|
|21:00||K.Hala (KS)||Conversion||Samoa by 7||14 – 7|
|35:57||R.Davies (WF)||Power Try||Force by 2||14 – 16|
|5:47||T.Mafoa (KS)||Try||Samoa by 3||19 – 16|
|6:50||K.Hala (KS)||Conversion||Samoa by 5||21 – 16|
|12:55||I.Fines (WF)||Try||Tied||21 – 21|
|14:07||A.Deegan (WF)||Conversion||Force by 2||21 – 23|
|19:48||I.Fines (WF)||Power Try||Force by 11||21 – 32|
|23:49||T.Ferris (WF)||Try||Force by 16||21 – 37|
|27:01||A.Stowers (KS)||Try||Force by 11||26 – 37|
|28:07||K.Hala (KS)||Conversion||Force by 9||28 – 37|
|35:07||J.Bardoul (WF)||Try||Force by 14||28 – 42|
|35:53||A.Deegan (WF)||Conversion||Force by 16||28 – 44|