The NSW Waratahs defied the odds. They made the most of their attacking opportunities early in the game and held on for the final 50 minutes.
For the visitors Will Skelton, Bernard Foley and Drew Mitchell were excellent. But the pick of the bunch was Peter Betham. His scything runs often put the Waratahs on the front foot.
For the Force, Chris Alcock was immense as was Alby Mathewson, Junior Rasolea and Pat Dellit.
That's it for today - and as far as Super Rugby in Australia goes - that's it for another four weeks.
The Brumbies have all but wrapped top spot in the Australian conference from the Reds, now it is just a question of whether the Bulls and the Chiefs can usurp them on the overall ladder with their two games in hand.
This is touch and go. He loses the ball momentarily and regathers. No try awarded. That is the eighth time the Tahs have scored three tries this season they could do with the bonus point.
The Tahs wins 28-13. Great win.
83rd min: Peter Betham reaches out and plonks the ball down. Is it a try. He does not look confident. But the replay suggests it might be.
77th min: This match, for so long a willing affair, is beginning to peter out.
76th min: Bernard Foley slots over the three points and this looks like a win to the visitors. FORCE 13 WARATAHS 28.
74th min: And Peter Betham streaks through. Will this be the bonus point. No. He is brought down in the last line of defence but the Tahs earn the penalty. And are kicking for goal.
73rd min: The Waratahs have not a scored a try since the 25th min. Seven times this season, they have scored three tries, and only once against the Kings have they claimed the four-try bonus point.
69th min: Junior Rasolea has been dangerous all afternoon and he nearly breaks through again. The breakdown has slowed down so the tahs defence is well set again on the halfway line.
68th min: Pat Dellit can do more than run hard. He has just unleashed a 50 metre touch finder to pin the Tahs back in their quarter.
65th min: Shortly after the re-start Bernard Foley streaks through the Force defence. He is brought down on the quarter line but wins the penalty. Crucial kick coming up by McKibbin, who snares the three points. FORCE 13 WARATAHS 25.
63rd min: The Force play on with a quick line out and they unveil their shock tactic - Sias Ebersohn running with ball! It completely fools the Waratahs and Kyle Godwin streaks away as the Force run 80 metres to score. The home side forgot what shocking kicking form Hayward was in during the first half and he steps up to miss another relatively easy shot. FORCE 13 WARATAHS 22.
62nd min: A rare moment of attack for the Tahs in the second half with raking passes by Brendan McKibbin and Drew Mitchell releasing Peter Betham on the left, but he is bundled into touch.
60th min: The Tahs pour through the lineout and mannage to harrass the ball into touch. They don't have the throw but they are in the Force's half.
59th min: Junior Rasolea flies down the left-flank and he kicks ahead, a-la Luke Morahan, but the ball beats him into touch. Tahs still holding on, but still stuck in their own territory.
58th min: The Tahs hold on magnificnelty. The seven-man scrum held their ground but the Force are on the attack again after Drew Mitchell clears the ball to the 40-metre line.
56th min: Looks like a yellow card here. The Force were pressing the Tahs line but a lazy hand sneaks through and knocks the ball down and Jed Holloway is sent packing for 10 minutes. This is game on. The Tahs cannot get any meaningful possession or field position. Do the Force have the attacking prowess to brige the gap.
54th min: What looks like a clever kick by Mathewson has turned to the Tahs advantage. He darts down the blindside, kicks ahead into space but the ball goes dead and the Tahs have the scrum feed 40 metres out.
51st min: The Force are running through the phase inside the Tahs quarter with another damaging hard run by Paddy Dellit. A bad pass to Hayward sees the Tahs pounce on the breakdown and they earn the penalty.
49th min: The Force withstand pressure on the Waratahs and work the ball down field after another penalty. An error by Lopeti Timani gives the Force good field position with the scrum feed.
47th min: The Tahs spoil at the lineout and eventually get the penalty ... just their second of the game.
45th min: Great play by Rory Walton threatens a turnover for the Force but they get penalty as Will Skelton attempts to counter the threat.
44th min: The first few minutes of the second half has been dominated by kicking punctuated by a half break by Peter Betham. The Tahs have the better of duel after Heath Tessman throws a crooked lineout ball.
Halftime wrap: This match has been thoroughly entertaining. The Waratahs have defied the odds and played attacking football, making the most of every opportunity. There is real spirit in the team. The way they held on defending their tryline for the final 10 minutes of the first half was inspiring.
The Force have dominated possession and have played with greater enterprise than what their game plan usually allows. But they cannot crack the Tahs defensive line as the visitors are not committing numbers to the breakdown. It may not be pretty but perhaps the Force would be better served with reverting to the pick-and-drive game.
40th min: The Tahs nullify the rolling maul opportunity by driving into the breakdown after the scrum. There is a penalty for offside and again the Force kick for touch. If the Tahs hold on, this will be momentus. And the throw is off centre and the keep their 14-point lead intact.
39th min: The Tahs cannot get out of their own territory and again they turn it over. The Force are on the attack with the insurance of a penalty advantage.
36th min: The Force keep piling on the pressure but it is that (giant of a) man Will Skelton again who saves the day. The 135kg lock forces the scrum and earns the Tahs the feed.
33rd min: No try is the call and the Force have the scrum feed, five metres out.
33rd min: TMO time again as the Force pile on the driving maul. Pek Cowan may have a second try but the replay suggests that Will Skelton holds the ball up.
31st min: This match is going end-to-end but it is the Force with the momentum. They have shunned their usual pick-and-drive game and Junior Rasolea and Pat Dellit have gained big metres down the left flank. They eventually get the penalty. But no shot a goal, they are going for the try.
29th min: A kicking duel again unfolds but thanks to a booming kick by Peter Betham, the Tahs win that one comfortably. They have the lineout throw 35 metres out from the Force line.
26th min: A better looking kick by McKibbin from the sideline, but this one misses. FORCE 8 WARATAHS 22.
25th min: The TMO is having a look at a possible try to Tom Kingston. The Force turned it over inside their own quarter and the Waratahs quickly pounced with Drew Mitchell creating space for Kingston off the back of two surgin runs by Will Skelton and Jed Holloway.
22nd min: The Force are over and they can thank the scrum. The Force pack turn on the power and force a tight-head five metres out of the Waratahs line. McMeninman almost crashes over but from the next phase, Pek Cowan finishes the job. FORCE 8 WARATAHS 17. KTC.
18th min: Angus Gardner give the Tahs their first penalty and McKibbin collects the three point with seeming ease. FORCE 3 WARATAHS 17.
17th min: Chris Alcock makes a mess of the restart and it is a knock-on on halfway. Tahs off the hook.
15th min: Tom Carter does the heavy work at the breakdown but loses his footing and gifts the penalty to the Force. Hayward to take a shot.
13th min: A crunching tackle by Will Skelton on Alby Mathewson saves the day and a kicking duel ensues which results in a Tahs lineout throw 40 metres out from their own line. A scrappy throw gifts possession to the Force.
12th min: The Force are now rolling through the phase inside the Waratahs' 22.
10th min: And the Tahs make them pay. The last try came from 15 phases, this from first phase from the line out. A wrap around featuring Tom Carter and Bernard Foley creates a three on two and Peter Betham and Drew Mitchell combine to send Cam Crawford over in the corner. McKibbin kicks the conversion from the sideline with one of the ugliest kicks you will see. FORCE 3 WARATAHS 14.
9th min: Bad error by Ebersohn who boots the ball out on the full. The Tahs have the throw, 40 metres out.
8th min: One of the few first-choice players in the Tahs line-up, Brendan McKibbin, makes no mistake with the conversion. FORCE 3 WARATAHS 7.
The Waratahs run through the phases - 15 all up - and Ollie Atkins crashes over. Kick to come. FORCE 3 WARATAHS 5.
4th min: The Force run from 10 metres out from their own line but they eventually revert to type and heave the ball down field. Drew Mitchell runs the Waratahs make into attack.
3rd min: Jayden Hayward has the kicking duties ahead of Sias Ebersohn and makes no mistake. FORCE 3 WARATAHS 0.
2nd min: The Force showing attacking enterprise. They spin it right and Pat Dellit charges down field. They spin it to the left and Hugh McMeniman breaches the line but eventually the penalty comes and AJ Gilbert is the culprit.
Tom Carter is the captain for the Waratahs today. A worthy reward for a faithful servant. Greg Martin says Michael Cheika has turned to Carter because he can rely on him. I say that Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne and Berrick Barnes are sunning themselves up in Caloundra with Robbie Deans.
FoxSports are talking up a good game "top flight rugby returns to Perth for the second time in five days" we are told. You can decide.
Welcome to RugbyHeaven's coverage of the second of two games in round 17 featuring a close to full-strength Western Force and a depleted NSW Waratahs team.
Force coach Michael Foley has endured a week of heavy criticism after selecting a mostly second XV for the once-in-a-lifetime clash against the British & Irish Lions. On the up side for the Force players who missed out, they have the chance to test themselves against a NSW Waratahs team that is comprised mostly of second- and third-choice players. Ample compensation! So stop complaining!
Forget the result, all eyes will be on the Madness, Hugh McMeniman, as he returns from injury. Should he survive unscathed, he will almost certainly be one of the six players Wallabies coach Robbie Deans adds to the national squad on Tuesday.
nib Stadium, Perth, Sunday 4pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 7 2013 - Waratahs 23 bt Force 19 at Allianz Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 9 Force 2 Waratahs 6 Draw 1
In Perth: Played 4 Force 0 Waratahs 4
Referee: Angus Gardner (AUS)
TV: Live, FoxSports 1
TAB Sportsbet: Force $1.60, Waratahs $2.35
Steve Samuelson writes: The Force are favourites with the NSW team missing 16 front-line players. Hugh McMeniman is likely to return from injury and will be an almost certain selection for the Wallabies’ squad should he survive unscathed.
AAP writes: With both sides out of finals contention this dead rubber is for bragging rights only. The Waratahs have lost their last two games and with their star players away at Wallabies camp they’ll find it extremely difficult to punch through the tough Force defence. Pat McCutcheon was promoted to captain of the vastly understrength Waratahs team but was ruled out with injury on Saturday. Most of the Force’s key players sat out Wednesday night’s 69-17 loss to the Lions, so they’ll be feeling fresh following a bye last round. After their round 15 win over the Highlanders, the Force are looking a very good chance to get their first win against the Waratahs at home.
FORCE: Jayden Hayward, Patrick Dellit, Ben Jacobs, Kyle Godwin, Junior Rasolea, Sias Ebersohn, Alby Mathewson, Angus Cottrell, Chris Alcock, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Wykes, Rory Walton, Kieran Longbottom, Heath Tessmann, Pek Cowan (capt) Reserves: James Hilterbrand, Salesi Ma’afu, Toby Lynn, Matt Hodgson, Brett Sheehan, Ed Stubbs, Sam Norton-Knight.
WARATAHS: Drew Mitchell, Peter Betham, Tom Kingston, Tom Carter (capt), Cam Crawford, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Jed Holloway, AJ Gilbert, Lopeti Timani, Ollie Atkins, Will Skelton, Paddy Ryan, John Ulugia, Jeremy Tilse. Reserves (from): Luke Holmes, Richard Aho, Adam Coleman, Liam Winton, AJ Gilbert, Matt Lucas, Terrence Hepetema, Ben Volavola.