Western Force get their second win on UK tour

The Emirates Western Force has scored a resounding 36-17 victory over Saracens Academy in its second UK tour match overnight.

Ahead of the first team clash between the two sides on Friday night, it was the turn of the youngsters to take centre stage along with a selection of experienced heads from both outfits.

Saracens Academy included the likes of Cobus Visagie, Dan Scarbrough and Adam Powell in their line-up while the Emirates Western Force complimented their side with Super 14 regulars including Tai McIsaac, Junior Pelesasa and new signing Caleb Brown.

Despite coming under early pressure from the visitors, Saracens took the lead in the game with a well worked try for James Short.

However, within minutes the visitors crossed the line for a score of their own. After going through the phases inside the Academy 22 and working their way from one side of the field to the other, a gap opened up for centre Haig Sare to crash over the line from 5 metres. Scott Daruda’s touchline conversion drifted wide.

Although the early scores made it a bright start to the game, both teams struggled to keep their own possession in the first half with numerous turnovers and that wasn’t helped when a torrential rain storm unleashed itself on St Albans.

However, as the clouds cleared, Caleb Brown marked his starting debut for the Perth-based side with a try. Brown looked sharp throughout the game and he was on hand to collect a pass from fullback Dion Berryman after the visitors back three had worked an overlap out wide. Daruda added the extra points and when the fly half struck a penalty five minutes later, it gave the Australian side a 15-7 advantage at the half time interval.

Bright sunshine greeted the teams as they ran out for the second period and the Saracens Academy reduced the arrears with a penalty on 50 minutes.

But it was the visitors who earned the next score after a series of penalties conceded by Saracens Academy took them into the home side’s 22. It was from another one of those penalties that Force captain Matt Hodgson took a quick tap and went over the line.

The visitors scored another try on the hour and this time Brown turned provider as he broke through the defensive line and released Sare to score his second of the match and Daruda extended the lead with the yet another conversion.

Saracens Academy reduced the deficit with the try of the match on 70 minutes, when from a kick into open space a foot race erupted between Saracens Academy replacement Dan Caprice and Berryman and it was Caprice who got their first to touch down after the ball had bounced over the line.

But it was the visitors who had the final word of the evening when from a 5m scrum, Daruda received possession and his clever kick through allowed Pelesasa to score and the successful conversion signalled the last action of an entertaining match that will whet the appetite ahead of Friday’s clash between the top sides.

Emirates Western Force 36 (Haig Sare 2, Caleb Brown, Matt Hodgson, Junior Pelesasa tries; Scott Daruda 4 conversions, penalty goal) defeated Saracens Academy 17 (James Short, Dan Caprice tries; Jake Sharp conversion, penalty goal) at Old Albanians, St.Albans, England.



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