Force Defeat Hurricanes in Gosford!

Feb 4 • General News, Super Rugby • 677 Views • No Comments on Force Defeat Hurricanes in Gosford!

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The Western Force have come away with a convincing 28-0 victory over the Wellington Hurricanes at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford last night.

The Force started with a bang and showed great persistence in defence holding the 2015 Asteron Life Super Rugby grand finalists scoreless throughout the match.

It took the Western Australian side five minutes to get on the score board through big man Adam Coleman, after a series of fantastic offloads from Steve Mafi and Ian Prior. Coleman crashed over just left of the posts for the first try of the game. Peter Grant made easy work of the conversion and the Force took an early 7-0 lead, which they would carry into quarter time.

The Hurricanes put together a number of solid phases, that placed them on the five-metre line, but the Force defence was exceptional, with Dane Haylett-Petty putting a huge shot on rival fullback Jason Woodward, which caused a knock on.

With the Hurricanes breaking the line and creating chances the Force defence stood up to maintain their 7-0 lead at halftime.

A relentless set of phase play from the Hurricanes in the first 10 minutes put the Force under immense pressure, resulting in Steve Mafi being sent to the bin after repeat offences. Not five minutes later young flanker Kane Koteka was also sent to the bin, leaving the Force with 13 men on the pitch.

The Force went on the attack despite the two-man deficit, controlling possession and pushing hard for the line. Mafi returned from the sin-bin and had an immediate impact scoring off the back of a Force lineout on the stroke of three-quarter time. Jono Lance converted and the Force took a 14-point lead into the last quarter.

In the 65th minute new recruit Semisi Masirewa showed his skills to step past three Hurricanes players and dotted down for the Force’s third try of the contest. Lance once again added the extras and the Force went 21-0 up with 15 minutes to play.

After Chris Alcock fell centimeters short of the line the ball was quickly recycled and Jono Lance found Ammon Matuauto with a superb offload as the Force went over for their fourth try. Lance had no trouble with the conversion, taking the score to 28-0.

Despite a last minute attack from the Hurricanes, the Force managed to withstand the assault and come away with a strong first up victory.
The Western Force’s next and final pre-season match is next Saturday, 13 February against the Asia Pacific Dragons at McGillivray Oval. Kicking off at 5pm (AWST), be sure you are there to fill the hill and get behind the Force as we prepare for a massive 2016 Asteron Life Super Rugby season! 

Semisi Masirewa Shines in Pre-Season Debut

 

New Western Force recruit Semisi Masirewa looked right at home on debut yesterday in the Western Force’s 28-0 pre-season triumph over the Hurricanes at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford. 

 

The Fijian-born outside back said it was great to run out for the Western Force for the first time along with a few other new faces and can’t wait for more opportunities. 

 

“It was really good,” he said. “I had a lot of fun out there and I think a team performance like that was the perfect way to kick-off 2016 looking towards the (Asteron Life) Super Rugby season.” 

 

“For a few of us it was our first time playing a real game together but with the chemistry we have built up at training it all worked pretty smoothly and helps us learn for next time.” 

 

Masirewa came off the bench and made an immediate impact with his raw pace and brilliant footwork proving too much for the Hurricanes defensive line to handle, as he stepped his way through three Hurricanes defenders to score the try of the match. 

 

“As soon as I got the ball in space I took the opportunity and backed myself and was able to step my way through to dot it down.”

 

After a hard pre-season with a focus on utilising their attacking weapons Masirewa said it was rewarding to see their efforts pay off as the Western Australian side ran in four tries. 

 

“We have some real talent in our outside backs and we are really trying to use those strengths by getting the ball out wide and putting guys into space. Obviously it was far from perfect and we have some work to do before our next trial game and the start of the season, but I was pleased with what the boys put out yesterday.” 

 

While the four try performance was impressive the Western Australian side’s effort on the defensive side of the ball was without a doubt the highlight of the clash with last season’s minor premiers. 

 

The Force held the Hurricanes scoreless through the full 80-minutes courtesy of brilliant team defence and some bone-rattling tackles from Dane Haylett-Petty in the last line of defence. 

 

“It was a pretty gutsy performance from the boys, especially when we went down to 13-men and still managed to hold them out so we can take a lot of confidence from that.”

Courtesy of the Western Force

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