Going to the AMI Stadium to play the almighty Crusaders is never easy even if you are the world’s best team. The ominous figure of the former team of legends like Richie Mccaw and Dan Carter looms over you as an away fan or player. None the less, the Force came in high spirits after a marvellous victory over the Reds.
The Force’s ruck defence was caught out early on when scrum half Mitchell Drummond made a great sniping run. He then had the simple job and passing to Digby Ioane who scampered in. Mitchell Hunt converted but Jono Lance notched a penalty to keep the Force in it.
The Crusaders kept on strangling and where awarded for their pressure through Matt Todd who bundled over through a pile of bodies. The TMO was used but there was no problem with the grounding so the try was awarded.
The Crusaders were beginning to play with fire and were punished. They were passing the ball around on the half way line when Alex Newsome read the play and intercepted. There was then no chance for anybody to catch 21 year old flyer who paced away to edge the Force within 4 points!
The men in red did respond through Scott Barrett. It was nothing pretty just brute strength from the flanker forcing him to clatter over the whitewash. Hunt converted again.
The offloading game from the Crusaders was killing the Force. They used that in midfield allowing Tim Batman to make a loopy pass. However, it only found the arms of Chance Peni who took the ball in just one metre out from his own line. Despite the good defensive recovery, the ball popped out of the ruck and Luke Romana duly pounced onto the loose ball and scored!
Chance Peni has been in superb try scoring form and he scored yet again but courtesy of some great Lance handling. The fly half played a perfect inside ball to the rugby league convert who powered over after a marvellous spin.
1 try was not enough though and the Force were pushed behind even more with Cody Taylor profiting after a strong maul.
As the clock reached the 70 minute mark, the players seemed to tire but it didn’t effect the attacking play. The Crusaders were at it again but this time it was David Havili who ran a great line and battered over from short range.
An expansive game wad finally brought to it’s conclusion but not before Ben Funnell scored from a maul. The Western Force had been resilient but the Crusaders had just carried on constricting until the men from the west could not breath