Rugby: Force crush Reds in Perth

Winston Stanley of the Force gets tackled by Jake Schatz and Liam Gill of the Reds during their...
Winston Stanley of the Force gets tackled by Jake Schatz and Liam Gill of the Reds during their Super 15 match at NIB Stadium in Perth. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
The Force have extended the woes of Super Rugby champions Queensland, thrashing the Reds 45-19 in Perth on Saturday and condemning them to a third straight loss.

Starting the game in last spot, the Force scored five tries to three against an injury-hit and out-of-sorts Queensland side clearly lacking confidence.

The Force scored the first 21 points and, subsequently, never led by less than 16.

Notorious for their final-quarter fadeouts, the hosts rattled up 17 straight points before winger Dom Shipperley notched Queensland's final try in the closing seconds.

It was the first time Queensland have lost three in a row since 2009.

Reeling from successive losses in South Africa, where they lost 61-8 to the Bulls last weekend, Queensland had few answers to the relentless enthusiasm and forward grunt of the Force.

The Reds didn't help themselves, committing several uncharacteristic errors which prevented them applying any sustained pressure. Tries to five-eighth James Stannard and lock Nathan Sharpe and a conversion and three penalties to fullback Dave Harvey rewarded the Force for their early dominance.

Impressive outside centre Nick Cummins set up Stannard's five-pointer and Sharpe smashed his way over from close range following a run by outstanding halfback Brett Sheehan.

Queensland finally gained some momentum in the last five minutes of the half, with prop James Slipper barrelling his way over after the Reds opted against kicking for goal.

Queensland's hopes of maintaining the momentum into the second half were cruelly crushed within four minutes of the restart.

Ben Seymour, who replaced the injured Stannard, crossed for the Force's third try after Sheehan charged down a kick from Reds' five-eighth Dallan Murphy.

Veteran lock Van Humphries ignited hopes of a Reds revival when he took a great pass from replacement prop Greg Holmes and scampered over the line, with Murphy converting.

There was no further score for 17 minutes, but a penalty to Harvey, who finished with 20 points from eight out of nine attempts, triggered a late Force surge.

Winger Samu Wara won the chase to a perfectly-weighted Seymour kick to score the Force's bonus-point try.

A great break by the impressive Cummins resulted in a spectacular try to flanker Matt Hodgson.

It was just a second win in six starts for the Force, with captain and flanker David Pocock saying the club had tried hard to tackle the issue of inconsistency.

"We've been working hard off the field so it translated this week and the challenge is to back it up next week," Pocock said.

He made special mention of the efforts of three of his backs.

"I thought Ben Seymour and Dave Harvey really stepped up and Brett Sheehan was outstanding around the field," Pocock said.

Queensland skipper and lock James Horwill said his side didn't play well and had given the Force a lot of possession early on.

"They made the most of their opportunity at the start of the game and, from then, we were chasing the ball," Horwill said.

"Probably the one thing we didn't do is take our opportunities and we left our run a bit late."

With 106 points conceded in the past two games, Horwill said defence was a massive concern for the Reds.

"We need to have a look at what we're doing and individuals need to have a look at what they are doing - that's unacceptable," Horwill said.

He said next week's home match against the Brumbies was a must-win game for the Reds.

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