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Scrappy win for Western Force

Published 09/05/2015

Matt Hodgson's try secured victory for the Western Force
Matt Hodgson's try secured victory for the Western Force

The Western Force ground out a scrappy 18-11 win over the Waratahs to move off the bottom of the Super Rugby standings.

The Perth side's only previous win of the season had come on the first day and against the same opposition - but Ryan Louwrens' try in the first half and Matt Hodgson's in the second were enough to secure another after 10 straight defeats.

Taqele Naiyaravoro scored the visitors' only try while both teams' kickers were inconsistent throughout, though the Force's Luke Burton managed eight points and Bernard Foley had six for the Waratahs.

After a low-key opening 10 minutes, both Marcel Brache and Luke Burton missed penalties for the Force as the score remained blank.

Force fly-half Sias Ebersohn had been off for concussion testing following the first penalty but immediately upon his return, his team won possession and Ryan Louwrens scored the opening try.

Burton converted but Bernard Foley cut the gap to a point with two penalties.

Burton responded in kind, finding the target either side of a yellow card to Tahs prop Sekope Kepu for a ruck offence, and it was 13-6 at half-time.

Foley missed a penalty shortly after the interval, a costly miss in what would be a low-scoring second half.

It looked as though the game may swing the Waratahs' way when Burton was similarly off target and Naiyaravoro, having initially fumbled the ball when it came to him, recovered and barrelled through four tackles to score.

Foley's missed conversion meant the Waratahs still trailed 13-11, but the Force were unable to immediately punish him as Ebersohn was off target with a 52-metre penalty.

But the crucial score came when the Force put a penalty into touch to set up a line-out and subsequent rolling maul from which Hodgson touched down.

Burton missed the conversion and the hosts had to play out much of the closing stages with 14 men after Hodgson was sin-binned, but they held firm and could even have extended their lead but for another miss by Ebersohn.

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