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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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A Waratah's player looks to unload. 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.

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Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs HIG 17:35WS
BRU vs FOR 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU vs LIO 17:35QBE Stadium
RED vs WAR 19:40SS
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT vs BUL 02:05FSS
STO vs SHA 04:10DHL Newlands
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Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs BLU 17:35FMG Stadium
FOR vs REB 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU vs LIO 14:30AMI
HIG vs WAR 17:35FBS
RED vs BRU 19:40SS
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO vs CHF 00:00DHL Newlands
CHT vs SHA 02:05FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG vs HUR 17:35FBS
REB vs LIO 19:40AAMI
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU vs CHT 17:35AMI
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL vs FOR 02:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs CHF 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
WAR vs BRU 16:05AS
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Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs REB 17:35WS
RED vs LIO 20:00SS
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs CHT 14:30WS
HIG vs STO 17:35FBS
WAR vs BLU 19:40AS
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA vs FOR 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
BUL vs CRU 04:10Loftus Versfeld
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Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs STO 18:35WS
REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
WAR vs STO 20:40AS
FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
BUL vs RED 00:00Loftus Versfeld
LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
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Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
BRU vs HIG 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
WAR vs REB 20:40ANZ
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
RED vs HUR 17:05SS
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Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
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Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
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Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
RED vs REB 20:40SS
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
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Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
RED vs SHA 20:40SS
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
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Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
RED vs CHF 20:40SS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
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Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 20:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
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Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
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Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
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Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
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Hurricanes 3 3 0 0 47 13
Stormers 3 3 0 0 26 12
Cheetahs 2 2 0 0 7 9
Chiefs 3 3 0 0 31 13
Rebels 3 1 2 0 -5 6
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