The Force outmatched by Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

The Force outmatched by Reds

The Force outmatched by Reds

It’s been a rough season for the Force, in so many matches they’ve been in the hunt only to fall in the final quarter. They’ve been far from disgraced but have not been able to accumulate leaderboard points and now find themselves out of the hunt for a finals birth.

Conversely, the Reds season was humming along swimmingly until the disastrous flogging at the hands of their oldest enemy, the Waratahs, two weeks ago. Last weeks legendary defensive effort against the Rebels has gone some way to restoring the fans faith in the side but there is still lingering doubt over the Reds in general.

Are the Reds back on track? Can the Force overcome the odds and win their first match? With perfect conditions on the Gold Coast, there’s no better time to find out.

The match:

The Reds made metres from there very first touch but couldn’t make it count. What followed was 15 minutes of both teams feeling each other out until Andrew ready got binged for not releasing in the tackle. O’Connor drove the ball deep into the Force’s half and Petaia nearly scored off the lineout move. quick play and some nice touches from the forward pack saw Tupoa crash over for a try that was almost immediately pulled back for a slight knock-on in the lead-up. The Reds had an advantage from a previous infringement and off the resulting lineout, Daugunu strolled over off an inside pass from O’Connor.


The Reds lost their second centre to injury about 25 minutes into the match. Flook dislocated his shoulder early on and then Stewart hobbled off with a hip injury. The new centre parring is O’Connor 12 and Petaia 13 with Hegarty at flyhalf.

At about the 30-minute mark the Reds, with their reshuffled backline, found themselves with a lineout in the Force 22. The reshuffle didn’t seem to hinder the Reds at all when O’Connor looped around Hegarty and offloaded in traffic to send Daugunu over for his second try.


A late penalty saw the Reds leading 15-0 at halftime.

The Force scored a much-needed try minutes into the second half. After a series of penalties, the force camped five metres from the Reds line. They won a lineout and former Red Andrew Ready steered the resulting maul over the line for the try.

The Reds restored their lead with O’Connor throwing an around the corner pass in traffic to a hard-running Frasier McReight who bulldozed his way over the line. Two quick tries to Tate McDermott sealed the game for the Reds. The first was a sneaky run down a metre long blindside 15 metres out. and the second was a quick tap 40 metres out an then a sensational run from the little halfback.

The force defence was in tatters by the 65 minutes and their scrum was on skates. Late tries to Hegarty and Tualima finished the match for the Force and the Reds finished up 57-5 winners.


The Game Changer

The Reds always looked the stronger side but a try just after halftime had the Force still in it.  Longbottom’s yellow card and McDermott’s two quick tries seemed to break the Forces spirit and they never recovered.


In a dominant display, both McDermott and O’Connor stood out as individuals and as halves partners. McDermott was an inch from scoring a third try and played out of his skin but, O’Connor scored a try, kicked eight from nine and set up at least three of the Reds tries. He’s my man of the match.

Wallaby Watch

BPA threw straight! But more importantly, was everywhere in the loose with silky hands and passing. Wilson and McReight sat two passes off the ruck in defence and lead the line all night putting massive pressure on the Force backs. Ably assisted by Jordan Petaia. Daugunu had a huge game and Taniela Tupou once again showed his class. Did I mention Liam Wright? More lineout steals and a perfect foil for his backrow partners.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Reds : 57

Tries: Daugunu 2, McReight, McDermott 2, O’Connor, Hegarty, Tualima

Conversion: O’Connor 7-8

Penalties: O’Connor

Force : 5

Tries: Ready


Kieren Longbottom (YC)




  • Reds played well, Force made them look even better.

    • Hoppy

      ????? Force did well in the circumstances. You Didn’t seem to have any issues with the Waratahs win over the Reds 13 days ago!, The Reds-that day were awful for 25 minutes and almost certainly affected by The death of Petaia’s dad but you were happy to give all the credit to the Waratahs – and fair dues to them because that first half was sublime. However, Now you’d like To somehow suggest that the Reds weren’t deserved winners 57-5 because the Force made them look good??? Give us all a break mate.
      That was a very professional and entertaining 80 minute performance from a Reds team that was severely impacted by injuries and will have sent some shivers through the confidence of the other teams and particularly the tAhs.
      Why don’t you just enjoy the rugby that was served up tonight which was entertaining and good quality? The Force tried hard right to the end and the Reds were on song. Great game!

      • If you have the heart to sit thru that 80mins again, which I
        haven’t – Ill give you 20c for every time the Force defence stop a player from breaking the gain line. You wont have enough to buy a Mars bar when its finished.

        The time for excuses is past.
        And while you about it, try reading what was written.

        • Hoppy

          Thanks. Ditto.

        • Which bit Hop?
          How I support the Tahs? lol
          You said it yourself, Reds injury, couple of young players thrown into the pit.
          They played well, all of them.
          The Force didn’t.

        • Hoppy

          Unfair to the force, they were still competing right to the end. Any team would have had trouble with the Reds tonight.

        • Fair nuff, I’ll agree to any team having an issue against the Reds tonight..
          57-5, unfair

        • RedAnt

          Yeah, particularly in the 2nd half, the Force defence was pretty ordinary.

        • Cheers RedAnt.
          Reds fwds attacking pretty well in the middle channel 2-3-3, Force defend with a 2-4-2 outside.
          Often felt I was watching re-runs of Cheika’s fun times over the last few years….
          Tried fixing it all by defending 15m-15m, entire team move left/right to sidelines, leaving a 30m gap for one of the most lethal wingers around to run into.
          I can handle a loss, but that was a deserved drubbing, and wont be the last.

  • Brisneyland Local

    SUlly, excelent write up and very quick too. Hot off the press. Very little I can either add to or disagree with what you have written. BL’s points in order of no logic what so ever:
    – Reds looked great fromt he opening whistle. Totatl dominance in both attack and Defence.
    – Tate McDermott has surely played himself into the 9 or bare minimum reserve 9 status for the Wobs.
    – JOC totally come of age. He knows when to hold and when to fold. A great game, even sliding out to 12 when the injury change occured.
    – ToNgan Thor has to be the starting 3. Nope point bringing that on for the last 20 mins, you wnat that kind of shit on from the very start.
    – Felt sorry for the force, wasnt through lack of trying or skill. they were just comprehenesively outplayed.
    – Referump and TMO had a great game.
    Over to you blue leaders.

    • McDermott and Thor…great stuff. Reds sure looked the goods.

    • Hoppy

      That ref and the two were outstanding. The TMO in particular Has got the process nailed. He’s got the answer almost before the r3f asks the question – and that’s two weeks in a row for him. George Ayub eat your heart out. !!!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep that was impressive. sets the bar for the rest of them to follow. Lets hope they do.

    • Hoss

      It’s getting harder and harder to not see Wright in a gold 6 this year. Terrific knock from the skipper. I have been a fan of these young reds for a while and with the addition of Wilson & McReight, a maturing Abattoir, a sophisticated 10 in JOC 2.0, a hungry, strong and sublime talent in Petaia and the worlds at their feet and they are growing into something special. I had pondered the effects of last weeks Herculean D, combined with the awful and heartfelt loss to the Petaia family and a possible emotional ‘come down’ for the reds. They put that doubt to rest from the get-go. Again great D and just scintillating attack. The force were never given a sniff and with their rosters lack of depth just couldn’t go with the reds when they put the hammer down. Best part was the reds stayed ruthless till after the siren – all in all it bodes extremely well for the Wallabies – combinations, raw talent and enthusiasm and some mature experience to guide them. What’s not to like.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am pretty sure that Thorn has got them to some how pride themselves on their D. To stamp it as their trademark. And they appear to enjoy it. Yep Wright is a monty I reckon.

        • Hoss

          JOC was special. Took the right option at each time and his defence is terrific. I also love how he takes it to the line and isn’t afraid of taking the tackle himself when there’s nothing on. Best game by an Oz 10 all year and he has also been consistently good this year. The Ponies and Tah’s loosies are on notice tonight – the young reds trio have set the bar high. Result aside tonite – wallaby’s selections are becoming very tight.

        • Geoffro

          I think its taken a wee while for JOCs mindset to go from redemption mode to full confidence.He was impressive last night.Tupou gets me though,I would pay admission just to see him in broken play.

        • Alister Smith

          Strange thing to say about a prop but I fully agree. That we can also say, I would pay to watch him scrummage, is testament to how well rounded his game has become. The pass he through for the 2nd last try was as good as a 9 or 10 would have thrown.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes a very true statement. I think that with Reniie in place and (hopefully) picking players based on form we are going to start to see the Wobs take shape in a whole new diection. It inspires me!

        • Hoss

          Given the shortish turnaround from end of SRA to possible first test I think Moses has to select form
          Combinations where possible – The reds 9-10 definitely, throw Daugunu and Petaia in at 11 & 13 and Simone / Toomua at 12. White / Harrison on the pine And it’s a fair looking backline. With Ram / White / Maddocks & Banks all there-abouts

        • Brisneyland Local

          1-3 isnt gauranteed either.
          What would your front 8 be?

        • Hoss

          On the spot hey.

          Eric Clapton – he’s been awesome this year
          Ueleses / Horton
          The Abattoir
          Wilson / Naisarani

          Bench Forwards
          Uleses / Horton
          Naisarani at 4/5 & 8 cover
          Mc McWreight.

        • Geoffro

          As usual , we light on in the locks.Don’t rate Loto ?

        • Hoss

          A bit light-on. I think FKA has had his best year in SR. But we are light. One thing though, have any of the overseas based locks actually played any rugby in the last 6 months ? I’d wager we’d be better off with a battle hardened Oz based lock who’s match fit and raring to go then a OS based ones with previous wallaby history but no actual game time.

        • Geoffro

          So,FKA is Salakai – Loto ? (I do suffer from oldtimers and cant always remember your nom de plumes)

        • Reds Revival

          I thought FKA was Faf de Klerk. I couldn’t figure out why is was in the second row for the Wallabies.

        • Hoss

          Yep Lukan Formerly Known As (FKA) Tui

        • Brisneyland Local

          Never thought I would see the day where Simmons is just a necessary part of the set up.
          The line out general.
          And most Aussie teams have had real hit and miss line outs. Mainly Hooker issues.

        • Geoffro

          Me neither,but Simmo also seems to have stepped up a notch since taking the captains armband

        • Brisneyland Local

          He is still not the clean out monster head should be, but his line out alone is enough for selection.

        • IIPA

          Who is Eric Clapton? I can’t work out on the basis of ‘awesome’…. I actually think Cam Orr has been about our best loose head.

          Like the rest of your thinking but my Tahs bias leads me to say Commissioner + Harrison as bench 9 and 10. Keep the combos going. Gordon seems to be striking some 2017/18 form and is real run threat. White certainly isn’t.

          My back three would be Daugunu, Wright and maybe Banks. But Campbell, Hodge, Maddocks al bring something.

          Ramm would be injury cover for Wright and MK for Daugunu

        • idiot savant

          FKA on the bench below Gene and the Prince? Big call.

        • Hoss

          I like Prince mate and he is overdue to wear gold again, Plus if you playe Gene and he does warrant a start you need an abrasive lock to go with and a prince fits that mould as well. Plus FKA is also a line out caller so I see him as a swap for Gene around the 55 minute mark.

        • Keith Butler

          Who is Eric Clapton?

        • Hoss

          James Slipper – has performed ‘cocaine’ a number of times

        • Keith Butler

          So obvious.

        • Nutta

          If picking right now based on Oz-active players…



          I know Staniforth is left field, but Hannigan and Blyth are the only two other contenders (really) and they aren’t owning it. I like Staniforth for honest, tough, uncompromising workrate.

          Swinton I think could be something quite special if he can just make that breakthrough from being aggro to venom.

        • Geoffro

          I’m liking it.Some genuine pace in the outside backs and inside backs / halves that know how to tackle.Who woulda thought

        • Hoss

          And everyone playing D in their chosen position – what a radical departure from the last 5 years.

        • Damo

          In fact there are quite a few backs running around at the moment who actually like tackling- and are good at it. I know that soon these guys are going to have to come outside the SR Au bubble and find out if we are as good as we think we might be- specifically v the All Blacks. Regardless, I think this domestic Covid comp has done a lot for skills development, combinations and most importantly confidence, particularly the young guys. Oz rugby will be better for it.

        • Geoffro

          True.Watched a highlights reel of young Reesjan Pasitoa yesterday just smashing his opponents.Was impressive for a young fyhaf

        • idiot savant

          I think they’re in camp for a while and I’ve read that Rennie will use that to work out his combinations. Gonna be some interesting opposed training runs!

        • idiot savant

          Yeah that was one special game from JOC. He is the most creative inside back in Australia and can really create at the line if he has the runners around him. Im not sure Rennie has him in mind as a 10 so it will be interesting to see what he does with Toomua and JOC.

        • RedAnt

          I am on record as saying I didn’t think JOC was ever going to be a great 10 but I have to admit he has been playing very, very well there the last few games. I was particularly critical of his out-of-hand kicking and ability to control a game, but he has clearly worked really hard on these things and improved enormously, and he definitely has attacking flair. With Lolesio still out, I think JOC is the current front-runner for the Wallaby 10 jersey. As Hoss says, it really is JOC 2.0, and good luck to him.

      • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

        I actually thought the Force were right in it till the start of the first half. From there however, their structures started to fall apart and skill levels started to drop off. If they can work on their last 80 mins, they will be fighting for wins.

        • Hoss

          Look, to be fair the Force being a lot of benefits to the Tah’s by being back in the fold. They are a guaranteed 10 points for the Tah’s season for what is basically an opposed training run, plus the added benefit of two bye weeks so we can freshen up. So I believe you’ve been a tad harsh to the underlying benefits the force back in the comp bring.

        • re: Force, signs have been there for a few years too.
          Can be fixed but…sheesh! (much politer than what I originally typed).
          Need a better defence coach, or 50% of the players need replacing, Ill go the first option.
          They are better than that.

        • Hoss

          Mate in all honesty who could have imagined the circumstances in which they are back COVID, near insolvency of RA, tv deal, no deal, closed borders, away from loved ones – you couldn’t write this stuff. It’s great that they are back in they just need to be given certainty and allowed to start to build a roster – aka the reds from 2018 onwards. Oz rugby is the better for the inclusion of the force.

        • I/m carefully re-reading that and checking before I comment

        • Hoss

          I am on the record mate. Wallabies first, Tah’s second and all Oz rugby third – as long as their not playing gods own.

        • A fair order.
          I am recording many of these comments , for use later.
          Ive been informed their is no legal ownership

        • Hoss

          Please do – I said of a certain Queensland Rugba League coach a few weeks back I saw him at an all night bakery enjoying a tart and now all hells broken loose, I need someone to keep records of what I say – just in case.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          I saw Rennie want Forrest to splash his million to bring expensive overseas Wallabies home…. that without any confidence that the Force will play any rugby next year..

          I expect Forrest to continue on his strategy that the only way to secure the Force’s future is to develop WA into a Wallaby factory. The focus should remain on growing WA junior and U20 competitions, providing young local players with paid development opportunities through the Future Force and give opportunities for these players in the Force set-up to establish themselves in either the GRR or Superugby competition. When WA rugby is again the third largest and fastest growing playing state, when upcoming young talent (players and coaches) from NZ, South African, Pacific Islands and other parts of Australia again flog to play WA club rugby just because they think it is the best way for them to get an opportunity to play for the Force, the local competition will grow and improve and the Force will become the force they can be in Australian rugby with a secure future. Recruit locally developed players that wants to come home, however spend the bulk on players that are committed to WA rugby…. I am ok to cover gaps in the player roster with short term contracts, however the bulk of spending should be directed to those that made Perth their home. Please no more Drew Mitchells….

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Very true, as a fan not in the inner rectum, it allows me to actually see the Tahs training well and backing their systems.

        • Moz

          Yeah, aren’t you all a bunch of smug, funny bastards. Obviously haven’t been told today!

        • Ive tried Moz. They just ignore me

        • Hoss

          I’ve had six years of misery Moz you’ll have to excuse me as I need to celebrate where I can.

        • Moz

          Ha, fair enough.
          And I’m just loving having the Force play, after 3 years absence (although that was pushing the friendship last night).
          I’m more pissed off with one/several other trolling posters who regularly post that it shows the Force shouldn’t even be there. Obviously shouldn’t rise to his/their trolling, which ignores the reality.
          Anyway, onwards and upwards for the Force!!!

        • Greg

          I thought it was harsh when someone commented that the Force were right in it…. until the start of the first half! :-(

        • Moz

          Yeah, that guy is just a smartarse.
          Still, I assume he’ll be feeling better knowing the Tahs will smash the Ponies tonight.

        • Moz

          Plus, the Reds were pretty damn special tonight. Enjoyed watching a lot of those players really making their mark

        • work on their last 80mins – No doubt an accidental typo custard. I’ll have to remember that line

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Even the Red dead redemptions had a game where they needed to work on their first 80mins. Too their credit, they did and are better for it.

          There is a new hope for the Force but it can’t be built off the back of a solo performer. I believe with the new alliance, RA aren’t the phantom menace they once were and don’t believe they are the rogue one and hope the force awakens.

          With the right support, high medicloran players, training and a yoda as a coach, the Force could make a return of the jedi’s. Sure there is a chance the Empire strikes back at the threat to their power, but with the help of the Rebels and some success, they could create star wars in Aus rugby, and eliminate the chance of a return of the siths.

          However the Empire have opened up a new front to retain their power protect their interests and have commenced an attack of the clones trying to use jedi mind tricks to achieve their objectives.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          The draw was designed to expose the lack of depth in the Force side. RA is still the phantom menace as they set this blow out up. The Force can do with a bye right now to regroup and give their best players a break.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Agreed they need a bye and really, a trip back home.

        • Reds Revival

          Was it their last 80 minutes or first 80 minutes that let them down more?

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I’m a glass half full kinda guy, so will give them the last 80mins, and I thought they looked good in the warm up. But, yep could argue it was their first 80.

        • pfft – you obviously watched a different game.

          The half time run on was sublime.

      • idiot savant

        The No 6 jersey has to be the most hotly contested. I guess it will depend on back row balance but Wright’s nose might be in front because of his line out skills. Valentini was very good pre Covid but seems to have faded a little. Better runner than Wright, pretty good on the ball but not much of a jumper. Samu is good value all the time in either 6 or 8, can jump, pilfer, and run. But if Swinton could play every game like he did the first one against the Reds, the jersey would be his. Id bloody love to see him shirtfront an All Black.

        • Hoss

          For me Samu was THE form Oz player of SR pre COVID, but he hasn’t rediscovered that form since which has opened the door for Wright to get his nose in front. Valentino goes missing for chunks of games, given his size if he had Wrights work rate and impact it would be ideal, but the young red skipper deserves a shot for mine. At 8 it’s ISI or a Wilson and I am happy either way.

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      I wouldn’t be against a McDermott and O’Connor halves pairing for the Wallabies. If there are any internationals this year, it would be a good year for trying different combinations.

      • Gus

        Totally agree, McDermott has x-factor that you just can’t train and O’Connor was immense and razor sharp on attack. Tonight O’Connor proved that at 10 or 12, he will be key to the wallabies.

        • Have another 10 in mind that could play inside JOC?
          Will Harris?

        • Gus

          Toomua, Will Harrison? What was striking tonight was when O’Connor moved from 10 to 12 he continued to dominate. Hegarty played competently at 10 but James continued the masterclass of midfield play. Impressed.

        • lol, fixed.
          12 months ago no real options.
          Now too many, who’d have thought it?

        • It seems that we are especially well served in the front row, back row, the halves and the three quarters and Full-back. Locks are a concern BUT seem to be getting better even the Reds.

        • Geoffro

          I reckon Lolesio was easily the best flyhalf until he got injured.Any idea how long he is out for?

        • 8 weeks originally, if all goes good. Another good option

      • Brisneyland Local

        DIfferent combinations. But these two almost seem Genia / Cooper ‘esque in know where each other will be. Tate’s delivery of quick pill is unbelievable.

    • Damo

      I am particularly enjoying the emergence of Fraser McReight. He doesn’t just do the down and dirty stuff, he looks like he absolutely loves it. I bet he was a hyperactive 5 year old and would have driven his parents & teachers mental. You probably notice it more because of the head gear, but his reloads from one breakdown to the next are lightning fast. Great to watch him and his back row mates doing their stuff.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thrives on the dirty shit. We have to foster players like that. For years we have had prima donnas, players that run sideways etc etc.

        • Mica

          Amen to that. Heart and soul of a team are the ones who constantly take on the hardest jobs with glee!!

        • Brisneyland Local

          We had a few of those and Ass Clown ensured that they will never return to Aus rugby. Gee that man should be put on Crimes against a rugby nation.

  • skip

    I am officially and shamelessly on the Thorn bandwagon.

    • hussy

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Consistency in the coaching department pays off. Just needs patience.

      • skip

        I like the old fashioned approach of finding a player’s best position & then picking him there.

  • Timbo

    Personally I thought the refs gave the Red an easy game. They were constantly offside late in the game and McReight while a great 7, was constantly given the benefit of the doubt when over the ball and not on his feet. A few forward passes were overlooked but then that’s how the game flows these days.

    Not taking away from the Reds here. Thor was epic, McDermott was excellent, O’Connor was calm, Daugunu is a shoe in for gold, Wilson will be in the Wallaby camp as will Wright. Shame to see the Red Centres go off early too.

    Thanks for the effort Sully. Maybe try a bit harder on the Red’s off days hey? ;)

  • Last week The Reds showed how well they can defend, this week how well thay can attack. Awesome on both sides.

  • laurence king

    I’m struggling to remember a better performance by an Aussie 10 in years. There’s been some good performances and better opposition certainly, but O’Connor sort of did it all didn’t he?

    • I’m sure people could point out a performance by Foley or Cooper but yeah it was pretty bloody good.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    I bet it was better night for you last night Sully. Reds played well and didn’t let up which was good. I like the attitude Thorn is building in this team and while the Tahs have their mental edge over them for now I think he’ll get over that if this culture keeps going.
    I feel for the Force but I still think they’re another season away from being truly competitive.
    Some great play tonight from a lot of the Reds but I’ll need to see the same against the Brumbies or Tahs before I start anointing them for the Wallabies.

    • NSW never have a mental edge over Queenslanders, we are clearly more mental!

      I really have to apologise for my last match review. I actually forgot I was doing the review until halfway through the second half. I’m sure if I’d started the review in my normal way I’d have done a much better job. Instead I was rushing to get things together all the while watching my team getting smashed by a much better side.

  • Frenchy

    Incredible game by the Reds. Quality individuals all around the field, and great team cohesion too, both in defensive & offensive situations. Credit to the coaches I guess. JOC & McDermott make up an incredible half pairing. I had never seen McDermott play before this year, what a player you guys have. He reminds me of Antoine Dupont from France. Same kind of dynamic running and urgency behind the ruck.
    But JOC in particular has reached a point in his career where he seems both at peak physical condition & with his sharpest rugby brain yet. French commentators where singing praise all game. He brings speed in the back line with every touch of the ball, makes every runner around him shine, and you know he can always have a proper go himself too if needed. And finally special mention to Hegarty, top impact player. Came on, made the team even better. What else do you want?

    Loving to watch this Australian super rugby. Def rooting for the Reds now :)

Queensland Reds

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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