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The Western Force have won the 2019 NRC title in dominant fashion, smashing the Canberra Vikings with 41 points to three on Saturday afternoon.
Western Force 41
Canberra Vikings 3
With just one loss this year, the Western Force will host the Canberra Vikings at UWA Sports Park. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 3pm (AEDT).
It’s been a near flawless year for the West Australians. They train together fulltime, which has only played into their favour.
An away loss to NSW Country is the only blemish on a solid campaign where they topped both the try-scoring and point-scoring charts, while the Vikings finished second in both of those records.
They tallied up more than 30 on every occasion except in the loss to the Eagles.
While the West Australians won an NRC final under the title of the Perth Spirit in 2016, it’s their first appearance in the decider since the change in branding.
The Vikings snuck into second place, but dropped multiple games and were pushed hard multiple times. Ultimately, they won more than they lost thanks to a perfect home record.
These teams clashed once in the regular season, with the Force winning it 45-28 at today’s venue, UWA sports park.
Both teams boast very solid forward packs, while their backs are no stranger to the try line either.
In team news, Brynard Stander comes in for the Force, knocking Tevin Ferris back to the bench, in what is the only change to the starting team that beat Brisbane City last weekend.
A late ankle knock ruled out Rob Valentini before the semi against the Drua, and he won’t play this game either.
Mack Hansen pushes Tom Wright from the left wing to the opposite side, with Toni Pulu ruled out with a hamstring strain. Wallaby Tom Banks will play fullback.
Keep an eye out for Issak Fines who has established himself as the first choice halfback for the Force this season. An absolute livewire, who the Vikings will want to limit.
Force to get the job done. Home crowd will be a factor, as will travel.
Force by 6.
Join The Roar for live scores and the blog from 3pm (AEDT).
Venue: UWA sports park
Odds: Force $1.44, Vikings $2.80
TV: Fox Sports
1. Harrison Lloyd, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Tom Sheminant, 4. Fergus Lee-Warner, 5. Jeremy Thrush, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Carlo Tizzano, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Issak Fines, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Jonah Placid, 12. Nick Jooste, 13. Pama Fou, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor.
Reserves: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Dom Hardman, 19. Ben Grant, 20. Tevin Ferris, 21. Rory O’Sullivan, Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 23. Jake Strachan.
1. Bo Abra, 2. Lachlan Lonergan, 3. Angus Wagner, 4. Blake Enever, 5. Nick Frost, 6. Pete Samu, 7. Will Miller, 8. Angus Allen, 9. Ryan Lonergan, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Mack Hansen, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Tom Wright, 15. Tom Banks.
Reserves: 16. TP Luteru, 17. Fred Kaihea, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Will Sankey, 20. Luke Gersekowski, 21. Joe Powell, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Lincoln Smith.