Force win again in World Series Rugby

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    Another big crowd turned up for World Series Rugby to watch the Western Force post a 47-17 victory over a Tongan representative side in Sunday’s clash at nib Stadium.

    Pre-match fireworks, dancers, a magic show, and even a sideline marriage proposal entertained the 16,323 crowd.

    The Force scored the first three tries of the match to race out to a 21-3 lead, but their advantage was whittled down to just four points by halftime following a spirited Tongan fightback.

    However, the Force regained their dominance in the second half to cruise to the seven-tries-to-two victory.

    WSR founder Andrew Forrest has lived up to his promise to provide plenty of entertainment as part of the rugby experience.

    And while no seven-point tries have been scored just yet, the on-field play has generally been free-flowing and fast.

    A crowd of 19,466 turned up for last week’s WSR opener, when the Force defeated the Fiji Warriors 24-14.

    Although the crowd was a bit smaller on Sunday, it still dwarfed the 5283 that watched the Rebels’ 27-24 win over the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

    It meant that for the second time in as many weeks, the largest crowd at a rugby match in Australia was produced by World Series Rugby.

    The concept will now go on a short break, before resuming on June 9 when the Force take on Super Rugby side the Melbourne Rebels.

    The Rebels are coached by former Force mentor Dave Wessels, and the WSR encounter looms as an intriguing grudge match of sorts.

    The Force shot out of the blocks on Sunday with tries to winger Rod Davies, flyhalf Andrew Deegan, and centre Marcel Brache inside the first 20 minutes.

    Davies went off midway through the first half when he landed heavily on his right shoulder after being taken out while trying to mark a kick-off.

    Tonga scored the final two tries of the half to close the margin to 21-17 by the break, but the Force obliterated their tired opponents in the second half.

    The visiting side was made up of Tongan players plying their trade in Australia, NZ, and Tonga.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (55)

    • Roar Pro

      May 13th 2018 @ 8:59pm
      GusTee said | May 13th 2018 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

      RUGBY UNION WON AGAIN

      Score to date: WSR 2 – RA SR NIL

      • May 14th 2018 @ 8:19am
        i miss the force said | May 14th 2018 @ 8:19am | ! Report

        congrats, where can i send you a medal?

      • May 14th 2018 @ 9:32pm
        Lol said | May 14th 2018 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

        C’mon you cannot call the two teams the force played were pro outfits!!
        Some of the Tongans only joined the team on Tuesday or Wednesday. One paid his own way from Sydney! They were out buying shorts on Friday and the Tongan coach didn’t even turn up!!!
        C’mon get real.
        These games are only pumped exhibiton trial games if that. And still the force struggle a lot at times even though have top class facilities and resources to call on. A hell of a lot more than what the Fijian and Tongan sides have at their disposal.
        Yes the crowds are good but that is not about the quality of the rugby it is more about protesting to RA!
        These are not professional teams, of course the force should be beating whats on offer but please get realistic!
        The rebels and crusaders will only be about their 3rd sides and probably in Perth to nave a few beers away from the hustle and bustle of Super Rugby.
        But no doubt the force supporters will say ‘a wins a win’! But Better than what other aussie teams are throwing out there.
        If this force side played any of the other aussie super sides with their players available they would get touched up for sure.The players in the force side are journeymen who could not attract a super contract or nearing the end of their careers and in Perth for a peak at ‘maybe’ whats on offer with WSR before they hang up the boots.
        Now all you force supporters pull your heads in and be realistic! I agree you have been dudded by RA but also dudded by an incompetent RugbyWA you would have to agree, but it is great that you are keeping on keeping on for the good of the game in WA.
        Actually where was Twiggy when RugbyWA sold the alliance agreement to the ARU?

        • May 14th 2018 @ 11:36pm
          Ex force fan said | May 14th 2018 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

          WSR is just the beginning not the end… It is an experiment to figure out what works and what does not and to put pressure on RA to sanction the IPRC from next year. The fact that is exposed the dumb decision from RA to axed the Force is just a bo us. The rugby is far more entertaining to watch than Superugby and a day at the game is becoming a family outing. The Rebels and Brumbies are also full of “journey men” but no-one is complaining about them. The IPRC will continue to grow, it is new, it is exciting, far more than watching another Aussie team taking a hammering from a NZ team. Even the Kiwis find it boring.

          • May 15th 2018 @ 5:35am
            Lol said | May 15th 2018 @ 5:35am | ! Report

            They only throw the ball around because there is nothing on the game!
            Exhibition trial games st best.
            I agree looks like entertainment surroundeding the game is good value something superbrugby could learn from.
            But the rugby itself is not high quality physically or skill wise.

            • May 15th 2018 @ 8:31pm
              Ex force fan said | May 15th 2018 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

              Depends on what you are looking. If you want to watch top rugby whatch the AB play the Lions. It is the same as watching a Test between the top cricket nations. However if you like to be entertained for a couple of good family nights the BBL is perfect and so is WSR. Superugby is neither entertaining nor top rugby.

        • May 15th 2018 @ 1:01am
          Sheikh said | May 15th 2018 @ 1:01am | ! Report

          As has been said several times, Andrew Forrest was sponsoring the Force Academy, and expecting the ARU to honour the spirit of the agreement they’d just signed with the Force.

          As to the standard of the sides the Force have faced – the Fiji A side will play in the Pacific Nations Cup in June and contained a few players who Fiji expect to be at the World Cup next year; the Tonga A side may have been supplemented by young club players, but the spine of that team are also going to the PNC (as are Samoa and Georgia!) And remember that the Force are a bit of a barbarian team themselves – some players have been in Perth for a while, but many are still turning up!

          You can only play what’s in front of you, and while the Force’s skills have been a little rusty, they are essentially 2 matches into pre-season rather than 3 months into Super Rugby, yet they’ve shown more ambition than many of the Australian SR teams.

          • May 15th 2018 @ 5:48am
            Lol said | May 15th 2018 @ 5:48am | ! Report

            If the spine of the Tongans were World Cup PNC then why didn’t their coach turn up if there was any importance on the game for the selection criteria.
            The rugby itself is low (fitness of two visiting sides was low)but agree the hype around the game is great which pressures RA to stay on their toes. RA’s scullduggery and RugbyWA’s incompetence dudded rugby in the West!
            As I said previously the Aussie super sides would belt this force outfit!

            • May 15th 2018 @ 11:42am
              Sheikh said | May 15th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              Perhaps the Tongan coach didn’t turn up because he doesn’t coach Tonga A? Cheika doesn’t coach the Australian U20s, does he? Nor does he turn up to every game they play.

              And considering some of the play of the Australian SR sides this year, I wouldn’t guarantee that they’d belt this Force side, even though the Force are still learning their combinations.

              It’ll be interesting to see what side the Force/Spirit put out in the NRC – by then they should be able to field tried and tested combinations of professionals with months of preparation against semi-pros with only weeks of preparation themselves.

            • May 15th 2018 @ 8:35pm
              Ex force fan said | May 15th 2018 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

              The Rebels and Saders will play the Force and then we will see how far we are off the pace, if at all. I always argue that the margins in professional rugby is thin.

              The thise that argue that they will play without their test players just remember that the Chiefs are playing this weekend without 20 of their top players and none of you hypocrites argue that it is not a real Chief’s side.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 16th 2018 @ 11:35am
              piru said | May 16th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

              As I said previously the Aussie super sides would belt this force outfit!

              What are you basing that on exactly?

              They’ve collectively looked like a lolly scramble at a mental hospital this year

        • Roar Guru

          May 15th 2018 @ 9:43am
          Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

          Feel free to hate on it. The rest of us 20,000+ supporters think it is great.

          The series would have been bigger but your ARU blocked the IRPC at every turn.

          • May 15th 2018 @ 12:52pm
            JeGeniko said | May 15th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            Will RU block another Australian team joining the IPRC?

            • Roar Guru

              May 15th 2018 @ 3:45pm
              Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

              Good Question.
              Probably, they have already tried to squash some rule changes, broadcast deals and match scheduling and demanded payment. They have applied resistance at every turn

              I think that with the recent popularity in WA they will need to tread carefully. IPRC could overtake SR and make RA irreverent.

              A smart CEO would jump on board and try to take credit for any success it has, not have the by-line: IRPC succeeds in spite of RA sabotage attempts.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 9:03pm
      #8 said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

      Great game. Another bruising one for both sides. Looking forward to the next game vs Rebels. Will be a good warm up for the Force before they become the first Aussie side to take out a Kiwi opponent in two years😁

      • May 14th 2018 @ 12:47am
        Ex force fan said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:47am | ! Report

        Do not count chickens yet. The next two matches will be tough. I love the 16323 turned up to an exihibition game and the Rebels-Brumbies attracted less than 5,300.

        My wife, mother-in-law and my con’s girlfriend enjoyed the pamoering. Hair and makeup touched up and a manicure with bubbly while watching the woman’s game in one Northern stand corporate suit. What a great touch to keep mum happy while we could watch the game. We still need to settle on the entertainment and format but it is surely more fun than Superugby.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 9:18pm
      ajg said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

      Its almost as if the EARU cut the wrong team from the comp in terms of crowds

      • May 14th 2018 @ 12:50am
        Ex force fan said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:50am | ! Report

        Spot on but they have not noticed yet…because they don’t want to. The pain from cutting the Force was not worth the gain.

        • May 14th 2018 @ 8:20am
          i miss the force said | May 14th 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          yeah, lets see how long it lasts. where were the crowds last year?

          • May 14th 2018 @ 8:35am
            Mr Tommo said | May 14th 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

            Crowds didnt rock up because super rugby is a boring/broken product that doesnt look after the fans; thank goodness we now have an entertaining rugby experience! Full houses for the next two games guaranteed

          • May 14th 2018 @ 9:05am
            Ex force fan said | May 14th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

            Not in Melbourne or Canberra or anywhere else in Australia. Superugby is a tired concept as illustrated that a series of exhibitions matches against make teams still gets more than double the interest than Superugby is getting. The gsme is mismanaged in Australia.

          • May 14th 2018 @ 1:50pm
            steveg said | May 14th 2018 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

            Pose that question in the ACT, ask the Brumbies why nobody is bothered?

          • Roar Guru

            May 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm
            Timbo (L) said | May 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

            We do need to be careful when claiming victory on crowd numbers.

            As Perth moves into its cold and wet 45 day long winter the fair weather sailors will fall off faster than Israel Folau’s twitter followers. The honeymoon will be over.

            It was bloody cold in Canberra. I can’t blame the punters for staying home and watching it on the telly. It is a measure of climate, not popularity.

            If the brains trust at SANNZAAR took the time to look at the global climate data, they would have games at times that maximize the climate conditions.
            Home games in Dunedin early and late season,
            Sunwolves away during their summer.
            No Night games in Canberra mid winter.
            No Tahs home games before May.

            We are also looking at the wrong metrics.
            Crowd profits go to the Franchises, TV viewers go to Fox.
            Fox are the dominant stake holders so the timing and location of the games revolves around the viewers, These are the numbers that we should be using to judge popularity and supporter base.

            This economic prioritization is why Franchises are struggling to make ends meet and Pay over FTA is contributing to the contraction of the supporter base.

            • May 14th 2018 @ 7:09pm
              Bakkies said | May 14th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

              Timbo, Timbo that’s where Rugby and the NRL are getting it wrong. Dismissing crowds is pure ignorance. It reflects local interest, a key performance indicator for club management and ability to pay bills. Poor crowds lead to shortfall than bailouts whether by News Corp, the RA, Leagues Clubs, etc.

              Twiggy gets it the likes of the RA and NRL don’t.

              As for getting cold in Perth, how do you define cold?

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2018 @ 9:50am
                Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2018 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                I didn’t say it was right, just trying to point out that Fox killed Australian SR.
                Affordable tickets and a good spectacle fills stadiums and grows fan bases.

                I went to a Highlanders game last year that was 8 degrees , Wet and miserable. Crowd was down around the6-7k mark.
                And before you pile on, I know it gets colder and wetter in NZ and Melbourne and Canberra,

              • May 15th 2018 @ 10:26am
                Scottd said | May 15th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

                Agree that we are in honeymoon period. When it rains 50% won’t turn up.
                However the crowd interest is critical as when kids go to the rugby like they are now rugby will continue to grow.
                The WSR is about rugby survival not anything else. So far so good but still to be determined whether WSR is a success or not. But I reckon we will upok back in 12 weeks and give it the thumbs up.

              • May 15th 2018 @ 1:11pm
                Ex force fan said | May 15th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                ScottD, absolutely spot-on. This is all about the survival of rugby union in WA after the self inflicted would RA gave WA Rugby last year. The next decade will decide if our children and grandchildren will grow up with the possibility to play professional rugby union or not. Those that continue to devalue the efforts that Twiggy and the WA rugby supporters are putting in to rescue the game I WA should have a good look at themselves! Would you can efforts by any other remote rugby community to grow the game in their area?

                I am especially glad to see that the tone of reporting have changed, and that roar journalists are starting to report positively about WA Rugby. Even Foxsport had an article yesterday that suggested it was a mistake to drop the Force.

                https://www.foxsports.com.au/video/rugby/rugby/force-thrill-in-win-vs-tonga!679466

                The benefits of axing the Force continues to evaporate and it became clear that the Force became the scapegoat for the failures of Rugby Australia in the past decade. It is already clear that lack of competitiveness of Australian franchises cannot be attributed to the Western Force and that commercial failures and lack of support for a Melbourne based team is also independent of the existence of the Western Force. None of the benefits from axing the Force realised yet, while the damage to WA Rugby is real. At least Twiggy stepped in to stem the tide with a series made-up exhibition games.

                I have hope that WA Rugby will recover although we were put back by at least 5-10 years. The Force was always part of the solution, it was not the problem.

              • Roar Guru

                May 15th 2018 @ 3:49pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 15th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

                Fox sports have lost their motivation to rubbish it now that they have broadcasting rights.
                I suspect they were worried that it would be FTA only and they wouldn’t get any of the pie.

                It is all about Money to them.

    • May 13th 2018 @ 9:19pm
      Chris said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

      Just a warm up series for the NRC. The question is, will the bottomless Melbourne Money Pit return all our home grown talent for The Spirit? Otherwise all the usual suspects will accuse Mr Forrest of buying the NRC. Perhaps the NRC should be State of Origin?

      • May 14th 2018 @ 12:51pm
        DNZ said | May 14th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        Considering how many players from Canberra the Force just poached, the same could be said. It’s professional rugby, I assume players will make their own decisions about what works best for them.

      • Roar Guru

        May 14th 2018 @ 2:50pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 14th 2018 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

        From what I read this morning, assuming none of the Force players get selected for Wallaby duties, the current WSR squad will form the NRC side.

        I hope it showcases more of the Fortescue Comp players to lubricate those pathways.

    • Roar Pro

      May 13th 2018 @ 9:30pm
      Crazy Horse said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:30pm | ! Report

      Western Force Women defeated Hong Kong in a very entertaining curtain raiser.

      • May 15th 2018 @ 1:13pm
        Ex force fan said | May 15th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        I wished the used their strike weapon Hodder better. She never had space as the inside players hogged the ball until the space closed instead of distributing early. They can get much better.

        • Roar Pro

          May 15th 2018 @ 2:06pm
          Crazy Horse said | May 15th 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

          Looking forward to the rematch on Friday (7:00 PM at Curtin University).

          • May 16th 2018 @ 2:27pm
            Sheikh said | May 16th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

            I’m not. I was looking forward to the rematch down in Bunbury on Friday night, and sorted out a weekend down in Margaret River based around that.

            Now I’m just having a random weekend drinking wine, but missing the rugby (and, hopefully, the bl**dy Royal wedding!)

            ETA: Oh, go on, moderate my comment. I didn’t even swear, I replaced the ‘o’s with ‘*’s myself!

    • May 13th 2018 @ 9:40pm
      Chris Anderson said | May 13th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

      Sorry I couldnt be there sounds like another great game for the fledgling Force, upwards and onwards!
      Looking forward to the next game in June where we show the Rebels who’s Boss

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