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Bruce defeats the brave force and ends the home Trans-Tasman final



Bruce secured his position in the first Super Rugby Trans-Tasman final by defeating Auckland’s Western Force 31-21.

But the win wasn’t as clean as it could be ahead of next week’s title maker against the Highlanders returning to Eden Park.

Bruce failed to win a try in the second half after taking the lead of 28-0.

Despite enduring a non-winning campaign, the Force was Australia’s most consistent outfit and showed their resilience again on Saturday night.

The attempt by Ferretti Kaitui and Tevita Kuridrani drastically reduced Bruce’s half-time advantage, after which Rob Kearney’s 77-minute cross gave the home team an uneasy last moment.

“It was a tough game, and when you have a home final, you have to look forward to it,” said Bruce captain Patrick Tuipulotu.

“I was satisfied with the first half. It is no exaggeration to say that the second half did not come out.

“We knew that the Western Force was a team that would fight to the end, and it’s a shame we’re done that way.

“But we can’t really stick to it. We have to look forward to next week and thank you for being with us for another week.”

Tuipulotu said another half-hearted effort wasn’t enough to win the title.

“40 minutes is never enough,” he said.

“We are always struggling for a perfect day, more than 80 minutes. We know they are a dangerous team against the Highlanders.

“They also go to 80-plus. You see, it was a tough game, and we got the home final, and we have to be happy with it.”

Dalton Paparii jumps in and decides a try. (Photo by Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

Force Captain Ian Pryor was proud but disappointed.

“I’m really proud of the counterattack,” said Prior.

“They were pretty special, this group of the year. I think we have a little respect throughout the ditch.

“We were pretty close to the Chiefs, the Crusaders and the Highlanders.

“But you can’t give 28 points in the first half and you can’t expect a win.

“I’m really proud of the counterattack, but there are many areas to work on.”

© AAP



Bruce defeats the brave force and ends the home Trans-Tasman final

Source link Bruce defeats the brave force and ends the home Trans-Tasman final

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