Fijian Drua handed crushing defeat care of Wallaby’s materclass


Western Force's Ben Donaldson scored 23 points after a brilliant display to lead his side to a 48-10 victory over Fiji Drua in Perth.

The Force entered Saturday night's Super Rugby Pacific match at HBF Park in last place and knowing a loss would effectively end their finals hopes.

But thanks to a stellar display from former Wallaby Courtley Beale and a perfect eight-from-eight display from Donaldson, the Powerhouse claimed their third win of the season.

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The six-to-one win lifted the Forces (3-8) from bottom to ninth, leaving them just two points behind eighth-placed Drua with three rounds remaining.

The Force finished their regular season with games against the struggling Waratahs (home), fifth-placed Reds (away) and third-placed Brumbies (home), with two more wins potentially enough to secure a place in the finals.

The Force got off to a strong start to the game, landing a try after just 54 seconds.

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Captain Jeremy Williams made a 30-metre break attempt, with winger Chase Tiatia providing the finishing touch with a diving jump into the corner.

It was 14-0 in the 14th minute when winger Carlo Tizzano finished off a brilliant goal-line move with a quick shot near the goal line.

Donaldson scored his third kick of the game to make it 17-0 in the 20th minute, while Fijian Drew's only points in the first half came from a penalty kick in the 38th minute.

Power midfielder Nick White had to put his finger back in place at the end of the first half, and the hosts were under pressure at the start of the second half.

Drua winger Celestino Ravotaumada curled an acrobatic shot into the corner in the 45th minute to cut the deficit to seven points.

White's 51st-minute yellow card piled the pressure on the Force, and the Fiji side almost made another attempt a minute later – but winger Taniela Rakuru mis-dribbled the ball.

Force inside center Hamish Stewart produced two pieces of magic to help turn the tide.

First, Stewart launched a successful counter-move to regain possession. In the next piece of play, he gained several vital meters to put the Force within striking distance of a try, while Michael Wells did the rest to make it 24-10.

Lopeti Faifua put the power into extra point territory when he connected with No. 8 Reed Prinsep for the team's fourth attempt of the night.

Bale provided a wonderful pass to Bailie Kuenzel in the 72nd minute, before Donaldson scored the opener with a 50-metre drive to the line in the final minutes.





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