The Force pulled off a surprise victory over a listless Crusaders in Perth.
The Force defended like men possessed to keep the Crusaders winless for a second weekend, leading 16 – 8 at half time, and even though they failed to score in the second half, still won 16 – 14 at the end.
The match failed to produce the running rugby we expected to see, but that suited the Force as they scraped to a win in Perth. The Crusaders spent the second half in the Force 22m, but failed to put more than a single first half try past them. The Force are known as something of a bogey team for the Crusader, but nobody quite expected them to pull off a victory, specifically after their showings so far this season.
The Force got off to a flying start, scoring through Sam Norton-Knight and pulling away to a ten point lead before the Crusaders knew the match had started. Luke Romano pulled a try back for the New Zealanders, crossing the line a further two times, but both being disallowed by the TMO. The Force continued the first half scoring with a further three penalties, but failed to put any points on the board in the second half.
The Crusaders spent the second forty attacking, but could not finish off, rather having to settle for two penalties as the only points scored in a rather boring second half.
The Force next travel to New Zealand to face the Hurricanes while the Crusaders host the lowly Highlanders at Christchurch after three weeks on the road.
By Richard Ferguson