Fullback David Harvey scored 16 points on his debut as the injury-hit Western Force upset the disappointing New South Wales Waratahs 21-20 in Sydney yesterday for their first win of the Super Rugby season.
The 29-year-old Harvey, on a short-term contract as the Force struggle to cope with the many injuries to their squad, scored a try and kicked three penalties and a conversion to end his new side’s run of three losses.
It was a fully deserved win for the Force, who controlled possession and territory for long periods and bossed the breakdown against a lethargic Waratahs side.
The home side started brightly with a try in the third minute, with Wallabies utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper touching down after loitering at the back of a rolling maul.
Harvey slotted over a 10th-minute penalty to cut the deficit and the momentum swung fully in the Force’s favor in the 16th minute when Waratahs lock Dean Mumm was sent to the sin bin.
A minute after the lock was penalized for hitting the ball out of the hands of Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan, Harvey crossed for a try after cutting a great line and collecting a nifty offload from flyhalf James Stannard.
The Force dominated possession from then on, but conceded a second try just before halftime when Waratahs winger Tom Kingston collected a loose ball and won a sprint to the corner.
Television replays showed the try should not have been awarded with Waratahs scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, whose kick Kingston collected, knocking the ball on when he forced the turnover with a tackle.
Flyhalf Daniel Halangahu converted brilliantly from the touch line, but another Harvey penalty cut the Waratahs lead to 14-13 at halftime despite the home side having only 25 percent of the ball.
Halangahu kicked two penalties and Harvey one at the start of the second half before the Force scored the game-winning try through Samu Wara.