Five things we learned from Force-Reds

Five things we learned from Force-Reds
Five things we learned from Force-Reds

What a difference a single week can make.

This time last week, the Force was riding high after a narrow victory over the Rebels while alarming bells were ringing in Ballymore after a loss to the Hurricanes.

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Now the tables are turned after Brad Thorn’s men beat the Force 71-20 to close out the Super Round.

So what have we learned?

1.No Flook for Josh and Suli

Suli Vunivalu returns to AAMI Park in style after a pair of brilliant second-half plays.

He showed the ability to make play to hit fellow winger Filipo Daugunu in stride with a looping cut ball.

Vunivalu then ran the full length of the pitch, giving Reds and Wallabies fans a heart attack as he stopped with cramps, only to ignore it minutes later.

He was joined in kind by Josh Flook, who continues his development with another star performance in the centres.

He had elite speed and great game awareness, continuing to show why he is rated so highly by the Reds.

2. Don’t Forget Harry

On a weekend dominated by number eight, it took a key play from Harry Wilson to remind everyone of their class.

Fraser McReight’s crash to score early in the game was perfect and shows his game’s steady growth over the past 12 months.

The hard work was undone to some degree by a soft yellow card just before the break, however, the Reds made sure it meant little on the scoreline when Flook came through just before the break.

Wilson finished the game strong, completing a mountain of defensive work with a game-high 18 tackles.

The Super Round was a great reminder of the talent pushing for a place in the Wallabies back row, with Langi Gleeson and Pete Samu strong on their sides’ wins while Namibian international Richard Hardwick was once again immense for the Rebels.

3. When it’s not your day

The Force simply couldn’t create any sustained pressure early on, allowing the Reds to continue to apply pressure from the scoreboard and run away with the game.

In the blink of an eye they were 14-0 down after eight minutes and as they returned to the competition a bizarre header clash between Tim Anstee and Michael Wells saw Josh Flook score the easiest of tries .

It ended Wells’ day, failing his HIA as he joined Jeremy Williams on the sidelines, with the Force crumbling in the second half as they struggled to deal with the Reds’ firepower.

The red card to Ollie Callan has made a day of horror worse and Simon Cron will want to forget as they prepare for the dangerous Moana Pasifika.

4. Beware of the bouncing ball

Force fullback Chase Tiatia has been given a valuable lesson in why you never trust the gilbert.

After a break from Josh Flook set up Liam Wright, a shoe clearance from Jordan Petaia found space, leaving the former chief scrambling to win the ball back.

Filipo Daugunu showed great awareness to sprint and put a toe on the ball, setting up Petaia to complete an incredible individual try.

It was the culmination of a solid first half from Petaia, breaking the Force line almost instantly as he looked controlled in attack.

Although he missed a key tackle on Zach Kibirige, it was another neat performance from the 22-year-old as he pushes for the Wallabies 15 shirt.

5. The dangers of technology

Usually when rugby fans lament using technology it has something to do with TMO or endless replays.

However, it was the spider camera that took center stage when it blocked a Kalani Thomas clearance in the 64th minute.

The camera had flown low throughout the week and had come close to being cleaned several times, showing the cost of getting a little too close to the action


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