The Western Force have done it again, this time upsetting the Waratahs 28-16 in Perth to claim their fifth consecutive win. Winger Nick Cummins, aka the Honey Badger, scored a hat-trick as the in form ‘Tahs came off second best in the Aussie derby.
Before the match there were a few calls for Cummins to back up his off-field chat by scoring a few tries, and score tries he did, becoming only the third Force player to ever grab three in a match.
His first was a brilliant intercept and 90m sprint after an incredible passage of play saw the Waratahs work their way up field – with some big hits in the process – before Cummins snatched a long pass and sped off. His handshake with a fan in the front row was a nice touch.
The atmosphere in Perth, where there was a crowd of 14,281, was outstanding, and the players fed off that as both teams smashed into one another, with the Honey Badger picking up the scraps.
His second came from a sniping break by Alby Mathewson, before he collected a loose ball for his third, forcing his way over the line despite a good chase back by Cam Crawford.
The Waratahs scored through Kurtley Beale but the Force had this one wrapped up, jumping to second place on the Australian conference ahead of next weekend’s meeting with the Rebels.
“Dane Haylett-Petty played 60 minutes of club football today and arrived an hour before the game, and then played 75 minutes of Super Rugby. Nathan Charles plays himself into a standstill and collapses on the sidelines,” said Force coach Michael Foley.
“We had a lot of heroes out there and we have now gone past what we did last year, which is nice, and we have a really big challenge in six days against the Rebels. That’s a significant challenge on the back of what was Test match intensity out there.”
You can view two post match chats with Hat-trick Honey Badger on pages two and three of this post
Quick post match chat with hat-trick hero Nick Cummins
A longer chat with Cummins after the game, with Nick McArdle and Phil Kearns