Force finally come good
The Western Force captured their first win of the Super Rugby season after upsetting the Reds 19-12 in Brisbane on Saturday.
Against all odds, the men from the west kept the Queenslanders scoreless in the second half and tryless for the duration of the match as they bagged their first ever victory at Suncorp Stadium.
It wasn't pretty, but the Force won't care. A win is a win, and moves them up to 11th place above the Waratahs and the Rebels.
The only try of the match came through Force winger Alfi Mafi in the 32nd minute of the match, while South African import fly-half Sias Ebersohn kicked five from six goals in a strong performance for the Perth-based franchise.
They were the underdogs but deserved their win - being hungrier in defence and more accurate in attack than the Reds, who were shut out by resolute defence in the second half.
The Force took the early lead thanks to Ebersohn's opening three-pointer and the Reds were fortunate not to have conceded a try to Chris Alcock after Quade Cooper's clearance kick was charged down.
After missing his first attempt at goal, Cooper made amends with three successful kicks at goal in between another Ebersohn penalty to put his team in front (9-6).
The visitors, however, went back in front in the 32nd minute when influential scrum-half Alby Mathewson broke from a line-out, brushing off Saia Faingaa on the way, before putting Mafi over in the left corner.
Ebersohn converted, but the Reds had the final say in the first half when Cooper closed to the gap on the stroke of half-time. It would be the last time the Queenslanders would score as they went into the break one point adrift of the Force (12-13).
The second half proved just as dire as the first. Mathewson almost set up a try to Junior Rasolea but his kick ahead was spilled by the winger over the try-line.
Luckily though for the Force, Ebersohn raised the flags two more times to give his team some breathing space and it meant the Reds had to score twice to win.
After holding the Force out after 16 phases, the Reds had the chance to draw the match in the 73rd minute however their efforts came up without the points when Reds hooker James Hanson was held up over the line.
Pens: Cooper 4
Pens: Ebersohn 4
Reds: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Ed Quirk, 5 Ed O'Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Jarrad Butler, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Aidan Toua.
Western Force: 15 Will Tupou, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Alfie Mafi, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan (c).
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Junior Rasolea, 22 Jayden Hayward.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)