Western Force 22 – Chiefs 21
This game was the one highlight in an otherwise pretty dismal super 14 weekend for Aussie teams, losing 3 out of 4 games. Having watched the game, no one really blew me away from the Force’s point of view. It was a pretty solid team effort, especially in the last 10 minutes when it turned into wacky races rugby.
The 17 year old, James O’Connor did nothing to disgrace himself and even showed a moment or two of real class despite the Chiefs targeting him. Already the name Horan is starting to be mentioned. By christ he looks young though (see pic).
Pocock is gradually getting his confidence back, and saved the match with a stripped ball over the line in the final minutes. Despite obvious limitations, Drew Mitchell continues to impress. He beat conservatively 4 Chiefs players to score the Force’s second try.
And of course, this was all possible due to Giteau’s return giving the Force some focus. You could also say that if either Giteau, or especially Donald, had kicked decently earlier in the match it would have been settled a lot earlier.
One other player to mention is the Chiefs winger Masaga who seems to be wearing jet shoes. His mach 3 burst to set up Donald’s try a great example of what he’s been doing all season.
Tries: Hodgson, Mitchell, Stannard
Cons: Giteau 2
Tries: Masaga, Donald
Pens: Donald 2
Western Force: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 James O’Connor, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 James Stannard, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fava, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes; 3 Troy Takiari, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Keiran Longbottom, 18 David Pusey, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Chris O’Young, 21 Scott Daruda, 22 Dane Haylett-Petty
Chiefs: 15 Mils Muliaina (c), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Callum Bruce, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jamie Nutbrown, 8 Sione Lauaki, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Kevin O’Neill, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Ben May, 2 Tom Willis, 1 Simms Davison.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Ben Castle, 18 Jay Williams, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 David Bason, 21 Dwayne Sweeney, 22 Sosene Anesi.
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Touch judges: Mark Lawrence (South Africa), D Mitchelmore (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Andrew Cole (Australia), Stuart Beissel (New Zealand)