Perth based Western Force have made an impressive start to their 2019 campaign by seeing off a determined World XV 26-16 in the opening round of the Global Rapid Rugby Showcase.
The Force trailed by 4 points at the break but worked hard in the second half to shut out the World XV while adding 14 points of their own. The home side saw tries from Jack McGregor and Brad Lacey in the opening 35 minutes followed by two more from Andrew Deegan and Marcel Brache in the second stanza.
The World XV, a side featuring more than its fair share of impressive rugby talent, started brightly and notched the first try of the game 7 minutes in through Michael Oakman-Hunt. He was joined on the score board by team mate Inga Finau who found himself on the end of some impressive build up play to score the first Power Try of 2019.
Power tries are one of the innovative new laws introduced by Rapid Rugby allowing a team that starts a try scoring move within its own 22 to bank 9 points without the need for a conversion. [Read more about how Rapid Rugby is different here]
After an entertaining first half the 11,300 strong crowd at HBF Park got what they had been hoping for when former Force favourite, Nick Cummins, was introduced into the game for the World XV. It didn’t take long for him to get amongst the action with two golden chances to ‘get some meat pies’ (tries) but on both occasions he couldn’t find the try line.
The Force went up a notch in the second half and had the World XV on the back foot for long stints, however, such is the nature of the end-to-end style of Rapid Rugby, the visitors had some opportunities of their own and were only denied by some desperate defending.
The Western Force now look to next Friday evening, March 29, when the South China Tigers come to Perth for the first match of the Asia Showcase Series.
Tickets and more information here…
Starting XV: 1. Cameron ORR, 2. Feleti KAITU’U, 3. Keiran LONGBOTTOM, 4. Jeremy THRUSH, 5. Johan BARDOUL, 6. Henry STOWERS, 7. Chris ALCOCK, 8. Brynard STANDER, 9. Ian PRIOR (c), 10. Andrew DEEGAN, 11. Brad LACEY, 12. Henry TAEFU, 13. Marcel BRACHE, 14. Clay UYEN, 15. Jack McGREGOR
Reserves: 16. Andrew READY, 18. Chris HEIBERG, 19. Tevin FERRIS, 20. Leon POWER, 21. Issak FINES-LELEIWASA, 22. AJ ALATIMU, 23. Nick JOOSTE, 25. Masivesi DAKUWAQA, 27. Harrison LLOYD
Starting XV: 1. Tom MOLONEY, 2. Greg PLEASANTS-TATE, 3. Shohei HIRANO, 4. Jack CORNELSEN, 5. Hamish DALZELL, 6. Michael OAKMAN-HUNT, 7. Hugh RENTON, 8. Leonardo SENATORE, 9. Andy ELLIS (c), 10. Kosei ONO, 11. Digby IOANE, 12. Inga FINAU, 13. Dylan RILEY, 14. Jamie SPOWART, 15. Gio APLON
Reserves: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. Wyatt CROCKETT, 18. Chris KING, 19. Michael CURRY, 20. Shota FUKUI, 21. Leon FUKOFUKA, 22. Nick CUMMINS, 23. Yoshikazu FUJITA, 24. Kazuki ISHIDA
Referee: Graham Cooper, AR1: Aaron Pook, AR2: Justin Foster, TMO: Alex Ninkov
7:07 M.Oakman-Hunt (WXV) Try World XV by 5 [0 – 5]
8:22 K.Ono (WXV) Conversion World XV by 7 [0 – 7]
15:45 J.McGregor (WF) Try World XV by 2 [5 – 7]
16:38 I.Prior (WF) Conversion Tied [7 – 7]
29:57 B.Lacey (WF) Try Western Force by 5 [12 – 7]
33:36 I.Finau (WXV) Power Try World XV by 4 [12 – 16]
6:04 A.Deegan (WF) Try Western Force by 1 [17 – 16]
6:50 I.Prior (WF) Conversion Western Force by 3 [19 – 16]
18:39 M.Brache (WF) Try Western Force by 8 [24 – 16]
19:44 A.Deegan (WF) Conversion Western Force by 10 [26 – 16]