The return of the Western Force in Australian Super Rugby, after three years of absence, ended in a severe defeat Saturday against the NSW Waratahs (23-14), despite a squandered lead of fourteen points for the players of Perth at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Two tries by Angus Bell and Tom Staniforth, added to five kicks from Will Harrison (two conversions, three penalties) allowed the Waratahs to win their first victory of the season, a week after a six-point loss to Queensland Reds.
The two teams met for the last time in 2017 in a victory for the Western Force (40-11) which was then excluded from the Australian Super Rugby by its supreme authority, SANZAAR.
The Western Force had been the victim at the end of the 2017 season of the reduction in the number of teams making up the Super Rugby, from 18 to 15.
"It feels good because we worked hard to get this result," said coach Rob Simmons, now in charge of a rejuvenated team with the departures of Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
The Western Force was playing in the Asia-Pacific league when the coronavirus pandemic allowed it to make a comeback in Australian Super Rugby. Impressive throughout the first period, it was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the young Waratahs.
"We were good physically and mentally, but we were a bit lacking in discipline," said captain Ian Prior.
Results of the 2nd day of Super Rugby AU:
Rebels - Reds 18-18
Waratahs - Western Force 23-14
Classification: Pts JGNP pp pc dif Good
1. Reds 6 2 1 1 0 50 44 6 0
2. Brumbies 5 1 1 0 0 31 23 8 1
3. Waratahs 5 2 1 0 1 49 46 3 1
4. Rebels 2 2 0 1 1 41 49 -8 0
5. Western Force 0 1 0 0 1 14 23 -9 0
© 2020 AFP