The NSW Waratahs have raced out to a 17-0 lead over the Western Force, who were decimated by injuries before the must-win game.
Already missing coach Tim Sampson and star recruits Izack Rodda and Issak Fines-Leleiwasa (isolation), they were joined on the guidelines by captain Feleti Kaitu, Bayley Kuenzle, Jeremy Thrush and Toni Pulu
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They face the sixth-placed Waratahs, looking to cement their position in the top eight as they push for the finals.
The visitors welcome back Jake Gordon after last week’s bye, with Gordon joining in the starting side by Michael Hooper.
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14 ‘: Michael Hooper continues the stunning start, going over untouched. Waratahs 24-0
10 ‘: The Waratahs strike again as Tane Edmed breaks through, finding Lalakai Foketi for their second try in five minutes. Waratahs 17-0
7 ‘: Mark Nawaqanitawase reads a Force set-piece to perfection, intercepting Ian Prior to run 60 meters and score. Waratahs 10-0
4 ‘: A brutal scrum from the Waratahs earns a penalty right in front, with Tane Edmed making no mistake. Waratahs 3-0
LATE CHANGES: The Force have made several changes to the side named on Wednesday with captain Feleti Kaitu’u, Bayley Kuenzle, Jeremy Thrush and Toni Pulu all ruled out.
Andrew Ready and Richard Kahui are elevated from the bench, joined in the starting side by Byron Ralston and Tim Anstee. Jack Winchester and Brad Lacey come onto the bench
TRIES: Nawaqanitawase, Foketi, Hooper
CONS: Edmed 1/1
PENS: Edmed 1/1
Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin (c), 12 Richard Kahui 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Ryan McCauley, 4 Fergus Lee- Warner, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Harrison Lloyd.
Replacements: 16 Jack Winchester, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Jackson Pugh, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Michael McDonald, 22 Jake McIntrye, 23 Brad Lacey
Waratahs: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jake Gordon (c), 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Charlie Gamble, 5 Hugh Sinclair, 4 Jed Holloway , 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements:16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Archer Holz, 19 Geoff Cridge, 20 Rahboni Warren-Yosayaco, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Will Harrison, 23 Jamie Roberts.
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper, Matt Kellahan
The Western Force’s clash with the NSW Waratahs will be shown LIVE on Stan Sport and the Nine Network.
Coverage will be live on Stan Sport from 7:15 pm (AEST) / 5:15 pm (AWST) and will be ad-free.
Meanwhile, the game will also be shown on 9Gem, with coverage beginning at 7:30 pm (AEST) / 5:30 pm (AWST)