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Thread: Force v Samoa 25 January 2007

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    Player rick boyd's Avatar
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    Force v Samoa 25 January 2007

    My match report, free of charge

    by RICK BOYD

    An undermanned and outgunned Manu Samoa was crushed 59-10 by an effervescent Western Force in tonight's Super 14 trial at Members Equity Stadium, East Perth.

    A crowd of 9051 braved the 35 degree heat (95 deg fahrenheit) and blazing 7pm daylight saving sunshine to watch the Force overcome the occasional pre-season jitters and mixed passing with set piece dominance and periods of sparkling attacking rugby.

    Samoa started and ended with a flourish but saw little go forward ball and turned over or dropped too much ball.

    Elusive fullback Cameron Shepherd was man of the match, wing Haig Sare scored a hat trick and imported trio inside centre Matt Giteau, centre Ryan Cross and wing Drew Mitchell all made their mark in what promises to be a dangerous back line.

    Samoa opened strongly and ran ten phases of attack in the Force's 22 but a pair of penalties took the home side downfield for a series of attacking scrums on the line. The Force drove over the line but the ball went loose. Sare cleaned up and burrowed over for the try. Shepherd converted from a moderate angle and the Force led 7-0 after 9 minutes.

    The Force were guilty of misdirected passes early but looked sharp running the ball, while Samoa conceded a string of penalties for offside, culminating in captain Ulia Ulia spending ten minutes in the bin.

    The Force went straight onto attack and after several phases blindside flank David Pusey rushed over for the try. Shepherd added the extras after 14 minutes.

    More was on the way when Samoa were penalised for deliberately knocking down, and from the penalty lineout the Force forwards drove ten metres and number eight Richard Brown crashed over for the try and a 19-0 lead after 25 minutes.

    A couple of in-goal howlers by the Force gave Samoa attacking opportunities but they failed to capitalise. The Force went back on attack, Mitchell went blind and fed Shepherd who beat two tacklers and scored in the corner in a dazzling display of individual running skill. Shepherd converted a boomer from the sideline with minutes to play in the first spell.

    The Force declined a penalty kick right in front in favour of a lineout, and spun the ball wide for Cross to cut through the midfield. Shepherd converted for a lead of 33-0.

    Samoa didn't take the same option with a penalty in the last play of the half, and flyhalf Doug Sanft kicked a 40 metre penalty to put points on the board, 33-3 at half time.

    Samoa again opened with a strong five minutes but it didn't last, replacement wing Digby Ioane coming into the back line to receive a little pop pass from steady flyhalf Scott Daruda for a clean try. Shepherd converted and the Force went ahead 40-3 12 minutes into the second spell.

    Cross scored his second try from a tap penalty four minutes later and Shepherd kicked the sitter to lead 47-3.

    Play slowed down in the mid stages of the half but after another penalty lineout, Sare scored his second in the corner after a width of the field backline sweep 25 minutes in. Sare gained his hat trick 9 minutes later as the Force kept attacked despite multiple changes, for an impressive 59-3 lead.

    Sanft made a couple of late breaks for Samoa and came close to scoring twice, but lacked the pace and the support to cross the line. But just before the final whistle Ulia scored peeling off a 5 metre scrum, and fullback Lolo Lui kicked the conversion for a hint of respectability at 59-10.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Good call Rick, seems we are starting to get a lot of interest from the media types now, nice to have a journalistic approach as well...

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    good non bias match report. be good if you could them for all force games?

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    Player rick boyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pruc
    good non bias match report. be good if you could them for all force games?
    Ta. It depends who's paying for it. But I'll try.

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    nice one rick....what did you think of the glow sticks?

    would have been a bit more spectacular except for the bloody daylight saving..

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    Player rick boyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry
    nice one rick....what did you think of the glow sticks?

    would have been a bit more spectacular except for the bloody daylight saving..
    Yes, very nice. Full marks to the Wholeforce spruiker who followed every PA announcement about the Force web site with a non-PA (shouted) announcement about the supporters web site. Well, at least the main stand heard him.

    Nice to meet Enforcer face to face up in the press box too (some press box -- an open bench at the rear of the general stand, right under the red hot tin roof and with sunshine on our backs. 0 out of 10 Members Equity).

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    word is rick that it came through on the radio loud and clear

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    Champion Shaun's Avatar
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    Very nice mate! Only thing out of order is the pop-pass to Digby was made by Henjak not Daruda.

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    Every forwards dream is to become a back...

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry
    word is rick that it came through on the radio loud and clear
    Certainly did

    Thanks for that Rick, you may as well get the post count for it rather than me just pinching it anyway

    Good to see you back on TWF for the season and I look forward to more of your insight on the Force and the local Club scene

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    Player rick boyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    Very nice mate! Only thing out of order is the pop-pass to Digby was made by Henjak not Daruda.
    I did wonder about that at the time, but I try never to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Still, ANOTHER thing that Henjak did right. Execllent.

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    Player peterss's Avatar
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    Shep and Cross were brilliant.

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick boyd
    Yes, very nice. Full marks to the Wholeforce spruiker who followed every PA announcement about the Force web site with a non-PA (shouted) announcement about the supporters web site. Well, at least the main stand heard him.

    Nice to meet Enforcer face to face up in the press box too (some press box -- an open bench at the rear of the general stand, right under the red hot tin roof and with sunshine on our backs. 0 out of 10 Members Equity).
    I couldn't speak to well on Friday though, had to have heaps of Magners to sooth the throat.

    It was me (TIF) Rick , not that Scotish git (TEF).

    A pic of the "Press Bench" to follow in the gallery.

    Even in that heat and if I had to sit in your seats Rick I would have given them a 7/10.

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    Player Rodent's Avatar
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    One of the true standouts was the introduction of the pass into Pelesasa's game. It appears gone are the days of backs being left unmarked and without the ball outside Junior. Great to see, but how we are going to fit all these guys into a backline is beyond me. But in John we trust!

    The other thing worth noting was that for all the attention the back line has got it was the work of the forwards in the first half which really got the Force going. Including Bam Bam doing his best impersonation of "The Mummy".

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    Last edited by Rodent; 29-01-07 at 10:07. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Player rick boyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr
    I couldn't speak to well on Friday though, had to have heaps of Magners to sooth the throat.

    It was me (TIF) Rick , not that Scotish git (TEF).

    A pic of the "Press Bench" to follow in the gallery.

    Even in that heat and if I had to sit in your seats Rick I would have given them a 7/10.
    Right, InnFORCEr, not Enforcer.

    And in answer to your question in the photo gallery, is that Rick Boyd and Tom Baddley ? -- no, it is not. The gentleman seated below the good looking Tom, star of stage and screen; is in fact Dave Hughes, rugby scribe for the West Australian. Up against the pillar at the rear is his opposite number at the Sunday Times, Nick Taylor, who admits to reading The Whole Force, although he may not thank me for saying so in public. I am a shadowy blob on the extreme left, trying to catch a breeze from the open window.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Nicks a top bloke, good Wanneroo man when i was there all those years ago, under the reins of billy watts...

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