Blues 17 – Force 27
Here are brief highlights from the Blues vs Force game in round 5 of the 2008 Super 14. Even though they’re just the tries – it’s still more than I could see up here! This was the Force’s first win in New Zealand. Keeping in mind how close they ran the Crusaders last week, it indicates just how far they’ve come, and maybe even how far they could go this season.
What’s been most impressive about the Force’s last couple of games has been the way they’ve adapted to and controlled the game; knowing when to give it air or reign it in. In this game they were down 17-7 at the break, to “put a rocket up themselves” (as the captain Sharpe revealed) and score 20 unanswered points in the second half.
Check out the hit from Flavell on Fava in the lead up to the second try. To his credit, the quokka fiddling Fava still puts a great pass away, gets up and touches the ball again in the move . From what I’ve read, Giteau had a scorcher in this game at 10. A good sign for the Wallabies.
For the Blues:
Tries: Woodcock, Tuitavake
Cons: Evans, Atiga
For the Force:
Tries: Shepherd, Brown, Horua
Cons: Giteau 3
Pens: Giteau 2
Blues: 15 Ben Atiga, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Lee, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Justin Collins, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Troy Flavell (c), 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Nick White, 18 Kurtis Haiu, 19 Onosai Tololima-Auva’a, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Rudi Wulf, 22 George Pisi.
Western Force: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Lachlan MacKay, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau (v/c), 9 James Stannard, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fava, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Tom Hockings, 3 AJ Whalley, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Troy Takiari.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Tamaiti Horua, 20 Chris O’Young, 21 Scott Daruda, 22 Nick Cummins.
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Touch judges: Christie du Preez (South Africa), Paul Honiss (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Assessor: Alan Riley (New Zealand)