Force 30-27 Reds, HBF Park
Jordan Olowofela scored a hat-trick as Western Force edged out Queensland Reds 30-27 in the 10th round of Super Rugby AU at HBF Park on Friday.
This is fourth win for Force in eight games as they took their tally to 18 points that have sealed them a place in the play-off while Reds continue to remain at the top despite the defeat.
Force started the game with a setback as they lost Tevita Kuridrani to sin-bin for a tip tackle on Hunter Paisami, who later latched on to a short pass and brushed away a tackle from Domingo Miotti to dot down. James O'Connor kicked the conversion as Reds raced to a 0-7 lead.
The scores were levelled in the 8th minute with Olowofela intercepting a pass from Tate McDermott to crossover and Miotti's conversion but four minutes later a brilliant solo effort from prop Taniela Tupou saw Reds extending their lead to 7-14.
Just as Force returned to full strength, they were down to 14-men again with this time Toni Pulu yellow-carded for a breakdown infringement and once again Reds made use of the numerical advantage with Filipo Daugunu dotting down and O'Connor improving making it 7-21.
Force narrowed down the gap heading into the break with Feleti Kaitu'u picking the ball at the back of a ruck on his way over and Miotti, who kicked a penalty earlier missed the conversion as the teams went into the break with a 15-21 lead.
Jordan Petatia was sent to sin bin early in the second half for a dangerous tackle on Olowofela, who scored his second in the 47th minute to narrow down the gap to one point. As O'Connor and Miotti traded penalties the scoreline became 23-24 at the end of the third quarter.
Force were punished for repeated infringements as they lost their third player to yellow card with this time it was the turn of Jeremy Thrush and a penalty kick from O'Connor making it 23-27. Despite down by a player, Force continued to push forward as Olowofela completed his hat-trick to complete a 30-27 win.
Team line up:
Western Force: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Feleti Kaitu'u, 1 Tom Robertson.
Reserves: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Fergus Lee-Warner, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Richard Kahui, 23 Jack McGregor
Reds: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Scott-Young, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika
Reserves: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Richie Asiata, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 Seru Uru, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Josh Flook, 23 Ilaisa Droasese