Western Force’s strong home performance ends Queensland Reds’ strong start to the 2024 Super Rugby Season at HBF Park

by Sports Benches

It was a high scoring game with a huge encouraging performance from the home team as the Western Force has just secured their first win of 2024 v the Queensland Reds at HBF Park in Perth after a winless first couple of games. They were able to get the ball rolling as many as three tries that puts them way in front throughout the first half, although the Reds finally got their first big score not long before half-time as the scoreline was 28-5. Now the Reds again thought they are back on track thanks to another Tate McDemott TRY but then the Force continued to increase their lead over time where they have absolutely dominant all along even though the Reds were able to pick up some late points towards the end, 40-31. After five rounds, the Reds drop to fifth while the Force push the Crusaders to last & now into 11th just behind the Waratahs (10th) by two points.

Hats off to Bayley Kuenzle who was unbelievable on the wing tonight for the Western Force, even though he usually specialises at 10 or on the centre. But again, his Super Rugby experience & physicality is something the opposition couldn’t underestimate where he always keeps on moving as his two TRY performance alongside his excellent defensive work has put the Western Force on the front seat all along for his team’s first win of 2024 – such an excellent team player. There’s another good player with Super Rugby experience who is doing really well back home in Perth also for the Force and his name is Carlo Tizzano who plays on the openside back row at No.7. He is someone the Reds didn’t enjoy every time he locked up the Reds attack in defense whose form was isolated before he and his team made the most out of their quick and electrifying attacking passage of play including two tries for himself. After a winless first couple of rounds, he and Bayley credits the strong home crowd at HBF Park as they will look to give back more good wins from here starting with the Fijian Drua away next Saturday.

And Reds’ No.9 co-skipper Tate McDermott did the best he can to keep up the scoreboard where his team fell short following his own two TRY performance in between half-time. The attacking build-up is there to see where he knows where to find his men on the counter as promised from the beginning, but then a few poor executions allowed the Force to swoop successfully in return where the Reds were vulnerable at their own end before it was too late with little time remaining. The Reds had a great start under Les Kiss (new head coach) until now which wasn’t easy after making the few hours trip to Perth as they will do so again on the way home before another tough test ahead v the high-flying Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday.

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