Reds 29 – Force 12.
Despite sleeping on it to try and come up with some inspiration, I can’t find any glowing words about this Reds performance – unlike their showing away at the Bulls. Defense held firm, but otherwise this match was more about what the Force couldn’t do, than what the Reds could. I’m sure Reds supporters could put me straight there?
The Force had about 75% possession in the first half, but simply couldn’t do anything with it. No Giteau, no ideas.
Out of this whole sorry game – it’s effectively stuffed the chances of there being a second Aussie team in the semi’s – the only noteworthy performance I could spot was Cameron Shepherd’s. For me the Force’s full-back has been solidly in the “overrated” box. Everyone’s hope was that he’d be the next Matt Burke, but his fickle “if the ball doesn’t bounce my way then fµck it” temperament has been matched by his form when he’s not injured. However, on a losing team vs the Reds his running was electric and his place kicking impressive – the only source of Force points.
With the Reds pulling this off with no Cordingly or Latham, it will be interesting to see how many other teams runs they can put to the sword.
For the Reds:
Tries: Houston, Turinui, Walker
Pens: Schifcofske 3, Barnes
For the Force:
Pens: Shepherd 4
Yellow Cards: Schifcofske (19th minute – Reds: Professional foul ), Pocock (72nd minute – Force: off-side)
Reds: 15 Clinton Schifcofske, 14 Brando Va’aulu, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 David Croft, 6 John Roe, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Van Humphries, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Coutts.
Replacements: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Ed O’Donoghue, 19 Poutasi Luafutu, 20 Will Genia, 21 Andrew Walker, 22 Charlie Fetoai.
Western Force: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Haig Sare, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Scott Staniforth, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Lachlan Mackay, 9 Chris O’Young, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fava, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Tom Hockings, 3 Troy Takiari, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 AJ Whalley, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Tamaiti Horua, 20 James Stannard, 21 James O’Connor, 22 Nick Cummins.
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
Touch judges: Julian Pritchard (Australia), Simon Moore (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Wayne Erickson (Australia)