A woeful Highlanders side briefly awoke from their slumber to score a flattering 25-22 win over the Western Force at Carisbrook on Saturday.
The House of Pain has not been a fortress to the hosts this season and it looked like the Force may get that elusive first up win when they lead 15-3 midway through the first half.
But slowly they started to get into the match, reducing the deficit to seven points at halftime and then adding two more tries to lead 25-15.
The Force deserved something from the game, possibly even victory, and at least got a bonus point when star player Cameron Shepherd scored his second of the afternoon to take the Force within three points of the Highlanders. It was too little, too late and Shepherd’s 17 points were not enough for a famous win.
The match was a disappointment and not even an afternoon kick-off could help standards with the Highlanders having 15 handling errors in the first half alone and the Force not much better with eight.
Throw in the frequent missed tackles from the Highlanders and it was a very ordinary effort from the home side who don’t look play-off material at all.
Tries: Jason Macdonald, Josh Blackie, Vilimoni Delasau
Con: Ben Blair 2
Pen: Blair 2
Tries: Gareth Hardy, Cameron Shepherd 2
Con: Shepherd 2