April 30, 2022
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Mataele scores in Force loss

Flying Fijians winger Manasa Mataele scored a try for the Western Force 22-18 during their thriller loss to the Blues in Round 11 of the Super Rugby Pacific yesterday.

The Force had a good start with a penalty through Bayley Kuenzle and soon on the Blues were reduced to 14-men when Sam Darry was awarded a yellow card for dangerous play,

The Force took quick advantage and scored the try through Mataele in the corner which Kuenzle converted for a 8-0 lead.

But the Blues bounced back when they were awarded a penalty which Beauden Barrett slotted easily and minutes later,

Darry made amends for his earlier sin bin, and scored while Barrett converted to lock things at 8-all.

Errors from the Force backline gave advantage to the Blues and they scored two more tries from Akira Ioane and AJ Lam but Barrett converted once to trail by 22-8 at the break.

Early in the second stanza the Blues were again one man down, when Santiago Medrano was awarded a yellow card but the Force tried hard and managed to fight back lwith late from replacements Jeremy Thrush and Bo Abra while conversions failed.

By Noa Biudole


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