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Force journeyman blitzes home state

WARATAHS 20 FORCE 21

A rare highlight ... Tom Kingston scores a try for the Waratahs against the run of the play.

A rare highlight ... Tom Kingston scores a try for the Waratahs against the run of the play. Photo: Anthony Johnson

THE most unlikely of players in the most unlikely of teams handed the Waratahs a devastating upset loss to give NSW their worst start to a Super Rugby season since 1998.

MATCH STATS

It didn't matter that debutant Force fullback Dave Harvey couldn't run. The former Sydney club player, called to Perth from France on a four-game deal less than a fortnight ago, scored all but five of the Force's 21 points to give the rank outsiders a one-point win at Allianz Stadium last night.

A Waratahs backline player tries to step back inside some Western Force defence. Click for more photos

Waratahs v Force - Super 15 Round 4, 2012

The Waratahs and Force met in a Round 4 Super 15 matchup in Sydney last night with both their seasons on a knife's edge. The Force are yet to win this year while the Waratah's have only managed the one win. Can the Force break their Sydney hoodoo and get their season started or can the Waratah's overcome their horrible injury list and get back on track? All pictures by Anthony Johnson. Selected images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Despite leading 14-13 at the break, the Waratahs were booed by a crowd of 14,600 – a flashback to last year's loss to the Cheetahs at the same venue – for a performance in which some of their most experienced players gave away penalties and they were out-muscled at the breakdown.

Veteran second rower Dean Mumm was sin-binned for cynical play in the 16th minute and less than a minute later the Force capitalised on the Waratahs's depleted defences. Five-eighth James Stannard gave new teammate Harvey an inside pass that he carried over the line to give the Force a 10-7 lead in the 18th minute.

"The guys who made the key decisions did a very good job – it's just a few lapses from key individuals that let them back into the game, so we need to work on ourselves more than the opposition," hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau said.

Test prop Benn Robinson was penalised early and second rower Dave Dennis was a repeat offender. Despite the sloppy play, the home side led 14-13 at the break and knew what they had to do. "We gave some very soft penalties away that allowed them to score points," coach Michael Foley said.

"We came in at half-time and had enough understanding of what we had to do to go on with the game and I think there were times in the second half where the Force put pressure on our breakdown, we overcommitted and ended up being a bit one-out in our play and allowed them to dictate the tempo of our game."

Veteran Test lock Nathan Sharpe was superb, triggering winger Samu Wara's second-half try that put the Force 21-20 in front. But the Waratahs reverted to the bad old days of kicking under pressure instead of running with possession.

"I think there were times tonight when we kicked poorly and kicked defensively and I think that was indicative, in the second half, of the fact we allowed them to dictate the tempo of the game," Foley said. "There were times where we got possession and we looked OK. I thought some of the kicking was OK but we definitely kicked ball away that we shouldn't have kicked."

The kicking triggered the booing. Vice-captain Benn Robinson said he did not hear the crowd but Polota-Nau was unrepentant. "I think they were just booing for the fact that we were kicking too much but I think our decision makers saw the opportunities there," he said. "So whether they boo or not we couldn't care less, because it was part of our strategy to play it down their end."

Adam Ashley-Cooper scored the first of the side's two tries and almost scored another, but referee Jonathon White called obstruction on centre Rob Horne. Bernard Foley and Tom Kingston, who scored the Waratahs' second try, were polished and passionate.

The Force needed this win as much as the Waratahs after clocking three losses in a row against the Brumbies, Reds and Hurricanes. But injury plagued Richard Graham's side, forcing the coach to make seven changes to the run-on side and two in the reserves.

The Waratahs, meanwhile, had claimed just one win from three solid efforts. Last week's one-point loss to the form team this season, the Highlanders, in Dunedin was tough to swallow. This one, against a winless side near the bottom of the Australian conference, will be tougher.

WESTERN FORCE 21 (David Harvey, Samu Wara tries Harvey con 3 pens) bt NSW WARATAHS 20 (Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Kingston tries Daniel Halangahu 2 cons 2 pens) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Jonathan White. Crowd: 14,673.

 

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Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
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BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
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CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR 25 vs STO 20 Report Stats
REB 23 vs RED 15 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF 23 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
BRU 20 vs CHT 3 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA 10 vs CRU 52 Report Stats
LIO 22 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU 16 vs BRU 14 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 20 vs HIG 25 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs STO 32 Report Stats
FOR 15 vs CHT 24 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 23 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
BUL 43 vs RED 22 Report Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 9 vs CHF 26 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR 24 vs WAR 29 Report Stats
HIG 30 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
BRU 8 vs REB 13 Report Stats
FOR 6 vs STO 13 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 10 vs BUL 17 Report Stats
CHT 17 vs RED 18 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 35 vs FOR 27 Report Stats
BRU 31 vs HIG 18 Report Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 29 vs BLU 15 Report Stats
WAR 18 vs REB 16 Report Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO 34 vs CHT 29 Report Stats
STO 15 vs BUL 13 Report Stats
RED 19 vs HUR 35 Report Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 48 vs SHA 15 Report Stats
BRU 10 vs WAR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 41 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
HUR 29 vs CRU 23 Report Stats
REB 16 vs CHF 15 Report Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 25 vs STO 17 Report Stats
BUL 35 vs LIO 33 Report Stats
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 58 vs RED 17 Report Stats
REB 42 vs BLU 22 Report Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 32 vs SHA 24 Report Stats
FOR 18 vs WAR 11 Report Stats
LIO 28 vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 25 vs BRU 24 Report Stats
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU 23 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
RED 46 vs REB 29 Report Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 22 vs CHF 18 Report Stats
WAR 33 vs SHA 18 Report Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO 20 vs BRU 30 Report Stats
CHT 24 vs HIG 45 Report Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF 34 vs BUL 20 Report Stats
RED 14 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
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WAR 32 vs CRU 22 Report Stats
FOR 3 vs HIG 23 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 17 vs LIO 40 Report Stats
STO 31 vs REB 15 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 35 vs HUR 18 Report Stats
BRU 22 vs BUL 16 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 25 vs REB 21 Report Stats
HIG 36 vs CHF 9 Report Stats
FOR 10 vs RED 32 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO 42 vs CHT 12 Report Stats
LIO 27 vs WAR 22 Report Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR 56 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
FOR 20 vs BRU 33 Report Stats
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BLU 11 vs CRU 34 Report Stats
RED 3 vs CHF 24 Report Stats
CHT 33 vs WAR 58 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
STO 19 vs LIO 19 Report Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
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REB 11 vs FOR 13 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
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CHF 13 vs HUR 21 Report Stats
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SHA 34 vs STO 12 Stats
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Waratahs 16 11 5 0 96 52
Stormers 16 10 5 1 50 45
Highlanders 16 11 5 0 117 53
Brumbies 16 9 7 0 108 47
Lions 16 9 6 1 -22 42
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