Force too much for Reds

Super Rugby Pacific Rd 5 - Western Force v Queensland Reds
Force players celebrate as Reds winger Suliasi Vunivalu reflects on his side’s loss. Picture: James Worsfold/Getty Images

The Reds’ claims to being Super Rugby Pacific contenders have taken a battering in Perth against the lowly Western Force.

Having started their season with four successive losses, the Force hit back with a 40-31 win over the out-enthused Queenslanders at HBF Park.

Trailing 21-0 after half-an-hour, the Reds paid the price for their slow start, with any hopes they had of completing a remarkable comeback dashed by too many turnovers and basically handling errors, including two from No. 8 Harry Wilson that led to Force tries on both occasions.

Queensland kept fighting until the end, and were only outscored by one try, but the Force deserved their win in front of their loyal fans.

Reds coach Les Kiss had warned against complacency pre-match, with his in-form side having been expected to continue the Force’s poor start to the season.

However, the “banana skin” Kiss feared reared its slippery head, with Queensland having plenty to think about ahead of next Saturday night’s clash against the ACT Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds co-captain Tate McDermott tried to ignite his side with two tries of his own, but it wasn’t enough on a night to forget for the Queenslanders.

“We’ve got to be a hell of a lot better,” McDermott said.

“We made too many errors and the Force made us pay. They beat us in the effort areas tonight.”

Super Rugby Pacific Rd 5 - Western Force v Queensland Reds
Reds flanker Fraser McReight (centre) is dejected after Queensland’s loss. Picture: James Worsfold/Getty Images

Full Force

Having absorbed a heap of Reds pressure, the Force were rewarded for their defensive grit with the game’s first try in the 15th minute.

With their first genuine attack of the contest, the hosts went wide, creating an overlap for winger Bayley Kuenzle to make the most of the open space in front of him to score.

With the tails up, the Force scored a second try eight minutes later through lock Tom Franklin, with the Queenslanders paying a heavy price for turning over the ball in attack.

The Force kicked long before their strength close to the Reds line led to Franklin’s five-pointer.

Worse was to come for the shell-shocked visitors, who conceded a third successive try in the 31st minute when winger Chase Tiatia crossed out.

With flyhalf Ben Donaldson converting each of the tries, the Force led 21-0, giving the Reds a mountain to climb.

Two from two

In Saturday’s Super W clash between the same teams, the Force beat the Reds 24-14.

The Force led 14-7 at half-time, and scored two more tries in the second-half to hand the Queenslanders a second successive defeat.

Force 40 (Kuenzle 2, Franklin, Tiatia, White, Tizzano tries; Donaldson 5 convs) d Reds 31 (McDermott 2, Faessler, McReight, Campbell tries; Lynagh 2, McLaughlin-Phillips convs)