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Some days the Force can't catch a break

Tough going ... Salesi Manu looks to break through the Cheetahs' defence.

Tough going ... Salesi Manu looks to break through the Cheetahs' defence. Photo: Getty Images

THEY lose their head coach, Richard Graham, to the Reds. Then Will Genia does an about face and opts not to move to Perth. Now the Force discover that when on the road, it can feel as if everyone is out to get them.

The frustrations for the Force intensified yesterday when they suffered a tight loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, which could have easily been a triumph if refereeing decisions had gone their way.

Hours after the Force's four-point loss, players and officials were still trying to comprehend several questionable refereeing decisions by Stuart Berry in an ill-tempered match regularly punctuated by onfield scuffles.

The Force players often appeared staggered by Berry's rulings, with their captain, David Pocock, repeatedly querying the referee. His team were noticeably irritated and their discipline deteriorated at crucial times, prompting several more penalties against them.

The Force lost the penalty count 18-6, but the most crucial call came just before half-time when winger Samu Wara's try, which would have given the tourists a two-point lead, was disallowed due to a previous offence. Berry was alerted by his assistant referee that Force prop Salesi Ma'afu had interfered with the course of play by putting a high tackle on the Cheetahs No.8 Philip van der Walt. From the next play, Wara scored on the other side of the field.

The Force rallied after half-time, taking the lead when Winston Stanley charged down a kick to score but the Cheetahs replied with an Adriaan Strauss try and a penalty goal.

Interim Force coach Phil Blake described some of the refereeing as ''bewildering'', and the disallowed Wara try as a ''huge turning point''.

''It was a very frustrating evening, finding it hard to get into the game because we never had the possession and the penalty count was so high,'' Blake said.

Cheetahs second-rower Andries Ferreira was later cited for alleged foul play following a high tackle on Force back-rower Matt Hodgson in the final minutes.

Ferreira bound Hodgson around the neck at the breakdown, and then flung him to the ground. Shortly after, a groggy Hodgson had to be replaced.

Meanwhile, Rebels forward Luke Jones was suspended for two weeks after a guilty plea for a dangerous tackle on Bulls winger Bjorn Basson.

Patrick Lambie scored all the Sharks' points in their 28-16 win over the Highlanders in Durban. Lambie kicked seven penalties, scored a try and converted it. The Highlanders long injured list included forward Doug Tietjens, his replacement, Elliot Dixon, and fullback Tamati Ellison.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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