REVIEW: Force make it four in a row! - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

REVIEW: Force make it four in a row!

REVIEW: Force make it four in a row!
Kev tried, but the Reds couldn't get over the Force

Kev tried, but the Reds couldn’t get over the Force

The Force came to Brisbane chasing their first ever hambone. Standing in their way was a Reds team looking to add another notch to the win column and build some momentum in their season.

And both teams came out firing, with a Force tight head and the Rocket unable to collect a kick, that refused to bounce, it was all happening. It was the Force who scored first, ten minutes in they first ventured into the Reds half and earned three from a ruck penalty, Ebersohn having no troubles with the kick. the Reds were not capitalising on early domination.

Just like the Force, who were continuing to win, so they continued to make their way into Reds territory and earn kicks at goal. two more being kicked in much the same manner. It was poetic that the Ref blew his whistle again twenty minutes in and Ebersohn lined up for, and kicked, his fourth penalty.

The niggle that had been bubbling under the surface boiled over with a wonderful exhibition of handbags. while the Ref was reviewing the footage of the some niggle by Charles on Quirk he noticed something the rest of the stadium had seen, a blatant shoulder charge from Cottrell on Shatzt, he handed out a yellow and the Reds went on the attack.

The Force line lost some structure and the Reds looked to capitalise with a four on one worked on the left wing, Slipper jinked and accelerated his way to the line. Unfortunately he was blessed with a props speed and wasted the three backs outside him as he was pulled down just short of the line. The Reds maintained their composure though and while the Force line was out of shape the ball was spun wide and Ben Tapuai went in untouched.

Bouyed by the change in fortune and looking to take advantage of their advantage in numbers, they found themselves again pressuring the line. With a sense of deja-vu, James Slipper again found himself on an overlap. They say the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, however James was not put off. He sold the dummy. In a touch of insanity it was bought and James got himself over the line. Quade added the extras and the Reds were into the lead.

The Force worked their way back into the Reds half and, showing plenty of patience, worked the line with multiple phases, sucking Red’s defenders in. Eventually this paid with Ben McCalman crossing to put the Force back in front 17-14. Ebersohn missed the conversion.

That proved costly as right on the stroke of half time, the Reds were awarded a penalty from some way out. Quade Cooper stepped up and kicked the goal to send the teams into half time all level at 17 all.

A missed penalty by Sias Ebersohn was the only hightlight from the first ten minutes of the second half. Sensing the need to up the entertainment level, Sias aimed for the post. Unfortunately the Reds were the benefactors of this, with Quade collecting the loose ball and setting off for the Force’s line. Some great passes eventually led to Mike Harris having a shot at goal for a Force offside. He shot the ball over and the Reds were in the lead 20-17.

the Force made their first real hit at the line, with Nick Cummins chipping over the top and forcing the Reds to take it back over the own line. From the 5m scrum, the Force sent it wide. Jonah Placid, on his debut, had just come on the field and completely misread the defence, leaving a huge gap for Luke Morahan to celebrate his return to Suncorp with a try. Ebersohn continued with his kicking yips, missing the conversion.

Penalty Reds, Drop goal Force and Penalty Reds saw the score see-sawing along with the Reds leading 26-25 with 10 minutes to go. After Captain Kev gave strict instructions to ‘keep the game down their end of the field’, the team obviously listened. Mike Harris was given another shot and extended the Reds lead to 4 points.

The Force needed a try. Getting back to what they do best. Grinding. They worked the defensive line and 16 phases later the replacement Jayden Hayward was through under the posts. the conversion was a formality and the Force took the lead with only a minute to go 32-29.

The Reds tried to work point but the Force defence was desperate. A Quade Cooper drop goal attempted to draw the game, but it went wide and the Force had held on to record their fourth win in a row for the first time in their history.

P.S. Happy Birthday Quade!
P.P.S. Congratulations to G&GR’s own JJ Taulagi on his starting debut.

Exclusive Photos by Shane Sullivan

The Game Changer

The Shoulder charge by Angus Cottrell on Jake Shatz and the resulting Yellow card completely changed flow of game. Before the card it was all the Force, but the Reds were given a way back in.


Ben McCalman was fantastic and continued his great year for the Force. He’s looking fit and strong and is having plenty of involvement in the tight.

Wallaby watch

It was a real Captain’s knock from Kev Horwill tonight, he’s looking very strong. Ben McCalman’s night went along way to proving he’s a great option at 8.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Reds 29
Tries: Tapuai, Slipper
Conversions: Cooper 2/2
Penalties: Cooper 1/2, Harris 4/4
Drop Goal: Cooper 0/1
Force 32
Tries: McCalman, Morahan, Hayward
Conversions: Ebesohn 0/2, Hayward 1/1
Penalties: Ebersohn 4/7
Drop Goal: Ebesohn 1/1

Cards & Citings


27, 024 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

  • MM

    Forcesome!! Anyone beating Queensland has my support, especially at home. I hope G&GR devotes pages and pages of space to the Reds humiliation. Foley not so bad after all (I actually thought he was a great forwards coach) and Graham a complete dud.

    • Dave

      Lol and some people on this site think that Queenslanders are the ones with chips on their shoulders… I’m probably the only one dumb enough to bite at the bait here – but really?

    • Robert

      I must say what a narrow minded uneducated opinion you have on what was an exiting game of rugby. Yes the Force won. Congratulations are due. Next time, though, you might say something meaningful. Or not at all perhaps. There is another site that accepts people like you.

      • Graeme

        What exactly are you upset about? I was going for the Reds but can’t take offense at anything MM said. And agree with the Foley and Graham comments.

        • Robert

          “I hope G&GR devotes pages and pages to the Reds humiliation”. I’m anachronistic enough to believe that manners and good form matter. Blatant rubbing shows lack of maturity and doesn’t promote debate in this forum. But hey, that’s my view. You are entitled to you’re own.

          As an aside, I noticed there was little or no booing when kickers were taking shots at goal.

        • mistermouse666

          I think given the nark, niggle and out-and-out nastiness that some Reds fans give out, plus the reams of positive press the Reds generally get on GAGR, MM is within his rights.
          Where I differ with him is in describing the loss as a humiliation. 3 points is hardly humiliating – unless he is arguing that it’s by default humiliating to lose to the Force, which would be a bit sad.

      • MM

        Is that it old chap, an insipid personal attack that questions the breadth of my mind, my education and my appreciation of the game – is the best you can come up with? You sound like an Englishman who has recently migrated to Queensland. It was a great game of rugby and I enjoyed every second Force were in front and let my many rugby friends in both Queensland and WA know.

        I think that as a home defeat, by a team of written off left overs, playing against a team that won the title just a few years ago, and whose supporters have mostly been insufferably rubbing the faces of the Waratahs and other fans into it, and who now sit in 11th position, it was fucking humiliating. I reckon big Kevvy Horwill would rather have been leading the Sydney gay mardi gras than doing that post match interview. I do know my rugby, I do know my loyalties, and I have lived and played in both Queensland and NSW.

    • Mark Blackwood

      No problem but you will be the same wondering at the end of season why there is only one Oz team in the finals. Home wins should be expected then support any Oz team against the rest. Congrats the Force, it was a deserved win. We are playing World rugby no, get on the same team.
      This is why the Allblacks always kick our ass.

      • mistermouse666

        Well Mark at the moment there are 3 Aussie teams in line for the finals. It’s a very tight competition and maybe only one team will make it – but methinks your issue is that it was your team beaten, your team sliding to 11th on the ladder.
        By the way, I do agree we should always back Aussie teams against NZ or SA ones – wish the Brumbies and Reds fans (in particular) felt the same way.

      • Tao Te Ching

        New Zealand provincial supporters are even more one-eyed and parochial than ours. And the ABs don’t kick our ass because of ribbing in forums.

    • Rex Munday

      Congrats to the Force

    • Brax

      Hardly humiliation mate. And we like Foley here in Qld, he was a great player for us & I had always thought he might come & coach here one day. I’m happy for him to be coaching the Force to new heights & proving the NSW detractors wrong. But in the words of Van the Man, I hate losing to you c*#^!s

    • dr professor

      You must be lost, you’re looking for the foxsports forums.

  • Bill

    Good win for the force. Poor result for the reds though in terms of the table. The game’s funny at times, you take against a player and you have to laugh because you know they’ll bite you and so it proved with Heyward. Hopefully he’ll have gained a bit of confidence from that and cut out the theatrics he showed trying to get Placid red carded. And I thought Cottrell’s yellow was undeserved, just a good hit.

    • Bob

      Agreed cotrell owned him. Legit tackle. T’s is just whinging red.

      • Brax

        A shoulder charge has never ever been legit in Rugby!

    • BAM

      Watch the reply. I am now. Hayward’s head bounced off the ground. im sure falling from that height and bouncing your head on the ground would put most people on their arse. In fact looking at the replay before this incident at around 62:51 Hayward gets taken out in the air by lucas who made no attempt for the ball and used his hip and shoulder.

  • Bob

    Hayward was not a sub

  • Bob

    your conversion count is wrong as well Ebersohn 1/2 and Hayward 1/1

    • Steve Timms

      Sorry, sometimes it all happens a bit fast to count. I knew I was a conversion short. Forgot who kicked it…

  • Bill

    Have to say, whoever the strength and conditioning coach is at qld, they’re cooking with gas, both Ben Lucas and Cooper look a yard quicker this year.

    • Nick

      Ben Tapaui looked Bigger.

  • Dave

    Terrible game.

    That ref and Richard Graham should be sacked this week.

    • Pedro

      Not sure if sour grapes or satire.

      • Dave

        Not sure if you think using meme’s on a rugby page is cool

        • Graeme

          Using memes on rugby pages is very cool!

        • notyourmate

          Hey! Welcome to the internet! Let me be you guide!

        • Pedro

          Sour grapes it is then.

  • Larkhage

    Force definitely won the forwards game, at least two of their tries came off high-phase play where the reds were not counter-rucking, unbelievable watching that.

    Indeed the game was ‘forcefully’ dominated when all 15 players were on the field at one time, this was apparent in the first half. Though, it was an extremely tight game all round, very entertaining to see both teams edging ahead with every minute passed.

    • Bill

      I think the counter rucking got canned to try and cut our penalty count. Over these first few rounds it looks to me that there’s a bit of drift from the refs at the tackle in favour of the attacking side.

      • BAM

        No…..the reds are serial infringers at the ruck. ref was hell bent in keeping them in the game.

      • tah fan

        I think you guys missed gill. Robbinson ends up paying more like a 6 just a smaller one with angry pills to make up the difference in size. Gotta make him work on pilfers. Plus for Frowards dominating clashed simmons should probs come off the bench and let that other massive second rower start, but for that to happen kevs gotta call the line outs

        • dr professor

          Think that’s one of the main differences between 2011 Beau Robinson and the bloke who’s been in the Reds every year after. He was a menace at the breakdown in 2011 and now as you say, he plays more like a small 6, which is why he struggles to get a start. Reds need to invest in an 8 with some size and a back up 7.

  • brumby runner

    Cottrell is looking better each game I watch him. Much harder than any of the Reds’ backrow. Is he the new ‘Melon’?

  • Sigh

    Just dreaming how many games we’d have won this season if we didn’t gift the opposition 12 points.

    • Bairdy

      You gift the opposition penalties because you don’t want them to score tries. If anything you might have lost more games had it not been for the incessant infringing in the 22 that you get away with.

      • BAM

        Should have been a lot more points against the reds with what they got away with at times. Cant wait to hear the Red supporters blame the ref for this one. The poor fella was the one that kept the Reds in the game!! haha

  • Parker

    Good on ya TImmsy, especially the lead up to Slipper’s try. Although I am a bit confused by your application of Einstein’s definition of insanity. In Slipper’s second run to the tryline, the Red’s defence did do something different (sane by that definition) by failing to tackle the not too pacy prop.

  • theduke

    Reds lack the quality players to win these tight contests. We lose the impact players and don’t replace them. Digby, Morahan, Higgers – tell me those guys wouldn’t have made an impact at the end.

    Sure there is great talent coming through, and future superstars, but it’s been a steady decline and the reds are at risk of slipping back to the early 2000s debacle.

    • Stubbsy

      Morahan did have an impact! Oh … Hang on …

  • Mark Blackwood

    Genia caught twice from behind (while heading in the wrong direction).
    Harris at 12 & Genia just treading water leaves Cooper as a big target.
    Cooper played well but always under pressure. When OZ have White at 9 and Tomua at 12 Cooper will be unstoppable on current form.

    We need some injured backs to return.

    I’m a Genia fan when he is running on full but something isn’t right there.

    I followed Horwill for a while. He is not fit enough or not good enough. Did damn well to do what he did but looked like he was running on empty for most of the second half. Still struggles to make metres on hitups.

    Where has this Force team come from? Forward pack is outstanding.
    McCalman spent 10 years working hard to get where he was but somehow this year he has added skills! Where did they come from?
    Starting No.8 for Oz on form with Palau & Higs fighting for the bench.

    REF was pretty average but the Force still deserved to win.

    Reds need the good old attacking, pain in the ass, annoying no.9 back.
    Then you will see tries and wins.

    • Tao Te Ching

      Phipps is much better than White. Passes straight from the base of the scum in front of the man.

      • Aussie fan in Edinburgh

        Since when has Phipps been any good??

  • Jezza

    Well done the Mighty Force! Thank you Queensland Rugby for relieving us of RG last year! RG is, allegedly the worst coach in super 15.
    Reds supporters I actually feel sorry for you, going for one of the best teams in SR to were you are now must be heart breaking.

  • Muffy

    Always enjoyed the Force style, and it pains me to say it, but they were better and deserved the win.

    So where lies the problem for the Reds? Is it RG or WGs sometimes glacial service, is it the lack of an obvious game plan, is it that we have been mediocre for some time now, getting the occasional win to mask that fact?

    I think it’s all of the above. Bug I also have no faith in RG. when was the last time he coached a winning side. Look how much better the force are without him, and how crap we are with him…

    Good headaches for wallaby spots though….

    • Damo

      There are a variety of things we can criticise the Reds for but I think the biggest problem is the lack of composure and patience when a real opportunity to score has been created. Watching the replay there are at least 4 occasions where the Reds seriously breached the Force- not easy by the way- defence only lose the advantage through a 50/50 pass, a bloody grubber kick or, and this is a serious sin, losing the ball at the breakdown through lack of urgency to recycle. This is behaviour that should be learned. Take the tackle, go again. In a tight game these are opportunities that get the momentum of the game back. This is not isolated to this game by the way.

  • HughJ

    Awesome action shots from @Sully. #BestSeatInTheHouse

  • Waz_dog

    Well done force – you’ve got a nack of beating us!

    Reds a couple of years ago would have kicked for touch instead of taking the 3 when we were a point in front last night. Such a shame we’re not backing ourselves to shut out a game like that and invite the Force/teams back in…

    I’m gutted that we lost but that win by the Force was nothing but guts and determination and I hope Force fans are enjoying the moment.

    Gee it’s nice to see that SuperXV table filled with Aussie teams in the top 6!!! Tahs and Force with a game in hand too – wow.

    Off to lick my wounds…

    • mistermouse666

      See, this is the camaraderie we should be seeing :) credit to you, Waz. Good luck against the Bumblies, should be a cracker.

  • RubberLegs

    Richard Graham is struggling. He has picked Toua, Shipperley, Tuialagi and Placid (none of whom can last a whole game at Super level or defend at that level) ahead of one of the toughest defending, hard running players in the country, Test veteran and super rugby final winner, Anthony Fainga’a. None of those novices can get themselves organised to participate in a super rugby level backline movement. It’s like the old days when failed coach Mooney picked a raft of promising youngsters and Queensland was on the bottom of the ladder. Placid’s blunder was a real game changer as was the moment when Big Kev ran around the ruck and gave away yet another penalty right in front of the posts.

    • stillatragic

      I thought the ball was out actually. That happened just in front of me and man, a whole flock of seagulls could have pooped on that ball. Isn’t that the definition of the ball being out?
      Agree with the use of the bench. Too early and wrong selections. More like Eddie Jones than Mooney though.

      • RubberLegs

        I just watched a replay and I made a wrong call on Big Kev. I think the ref said “playing the ball on the ground???”.

    • Brax

      Due to injuries he hasn’t had much choice in his selections, apart from A. Faingaa.

  • Melvin Fillyhammer

    Absolutely disgusted with the Reds; drop goal attempt for a draw? WTF?!? How about trying to, you know, WIN THE BLOODY GAME!

    • dr professor

      Id have happily taken a drop goal if it’d had gone over.

    • Brackets

      Yeah, what was up with that? A draw would have only landed them 1 more point than they had for the BP loss. Why not play your arse off and go for the try? The Force’s defence had been questionable at times with some pretty soft tries let in already. I think it says a fair bit about the mindset up there atm, play for a draw and give up on the win? Reds of a few years ago wouldn’t have considered it.

  • Tao Te Ching

    It’s a relief to see the Reds beaten by an Aussie team for a change!

  • kebbie

    richard graham – i thank you
    debuting players when a 99 gamer and a wallaby centre sit on the pine -love it
    ahhh -fresh air the competition is alive and well
    could this mean a finals appearance, be still my beating heart

  • Moose

    Reds don’t seem to have any belief in themselves. Kicking the ball back to the Force with 5 mins to go when leading – exactly what the Force would have wanted. Reds of old would have held onto the ball and worked upfield and pressure the pressured! After fulltime siren, when behind on the scoreboard and in the attacking zone inside Force 30m, rather than back themselves and keep going for try or maintain pressure to get a penalty, they take the high-risk 50-50 drop potshot – Reds of old would have built more pressure and backed themselves. They need their self-belief back. To believe they can maintain possession and can score points off their own merit (not coward’s points i.e. from other’s mistakes)

    Well done Force – thoroughly deserved.

Queensland Reds

Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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