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Hodgson powers Force to win

The Western Force ensured they remained very much in the Super Rugby play-off picture thanks to a 29-19 win over the Lions in Perth.

Two tries from skipper Matt Hodgson plus further scores from Jayden Hayward and Chris Tuatara-Morrison ensured the Force sit in a wild card spot.

Elton Jantjies scored the only try for the South Africans with Marnitz Boshoff booting 14 points.

The opening stages were cagey as Sias Ebersohn kicked the Force ahead but Boshoff slotted three penalties of his own to give the Lions a six-point lead.

The momentum quickly swung in the 34th minute when Corne Fourie went to the sin bin for a tackle on Nathan Charles that left the Force hooker visibly shaken.

Two minutes later the Force had their first try as a pick and drive from a scrum sent Hodgson over with Ebersohn adding the extras.

A minute before the break the home side had their second, again from a scrum, as this time they moved it wide for Hayward to score and, despite Ebersohn's poor kick, the lead was 15-9 at the break.

Nick Cummins had a try chalked off by the TMO just after the interval but it was the Lions who closed the gap with another Boshoff penalty.

Zack Holmes saw another potential try rejected by the TMO but the Force had their third score from the resulting scrum as a flat pass sent Tuatara-Morrison over and Hayward opened up a 10-point lead.

Jantjies was the next man to be denied by the video referee but he soon took advantage of a terrible kick by Cummins to pounce on a score and Boshoff converted to set up a tense finish.

But with just a minute to go, Hodgson had his second try and Hayward converted to seal the win.

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