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Cummins treble in famous Force win

Cult hero Nick Cummins scored a hat-trick as the Western Force made it five Super Rugby victories in a row for the first time.

Australian rivals the Waratahs had no answer for Cummins, and an inspired Force defence, as the Perth side won 28-16.

Australia international Cummins, affectionately known as the 'Honey Badger', has become a fan favourite at the Force Field and scored the only try of the opening half when he ran the full length of nib Stadium after intercepting near his own line.

Alby Matthewson set up Cummins' second before the shaggy-haired winger burst away for another long run and finish to complete his treble.

The Waratahs broke through the home defence for the first time after 66 minutes, when Kurtley Beale touched down in the corner, and at 25-16 retained some hope of snatching away the points.

But the Force held on to move above their east-coast rivals and into second place, behind the Brumbies, in the Australian Conference.

The Waratahs were controversially without star full-back Israel Folau after the Australian Rugby Union prevented him from returning from a throat injury. Folau had been expected to make his comeback after two weeks out and, after the ARU made their late call, he simply wrote on Twitter: "Frustrated".

Folau therefore watched on from the sidelines as his team-mates dominated possession for long periods and controlled the first 20 minutes to lead 6-3 thanks to a pair of Beale penalties. Sias Ebersohn replied for the Force.

The Tahs went in search of the try to cement their early pressure only for Cummins to cut out a floated pass across his line and surge away the length of the field. Ebersohn added the extra points.

Bernard Foley and Ebersohn traded penalties as the Force went into half-time 13-9 ahead.

The Waratahs again exerted pressure after the break, only to be undone by two more memorable Cummins moments.

Matthewson burst through a gap after quick ball to send Cummins over for his second, before the 26-year-old outpaced the away defence and tumbled over for his third. It was the third time a Force player has scored a hat-trick in their nine seasons of Super Rugby.

Beale replied shortly after with a converted score as the Force defence finally showed some signs of tiring.

The Tahs sensed their chance to over-run the hosts but were forced into turnovers at key moments before Ebersohn's 76th-minute penalty confirmed the Force's historic fifth win on the spin.


From Belfast Telegraph