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Force score Super upset in Argentina

NZN 13/05/2017 Brett McKay

The Western Force have become the first Australian Super Rugby side to win in Argentina, grinding their way to a 16-6 victory over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

The result ends the Australian drought of offshore wins, and further compresses the Australian conference table, with the Force now six points off the ladder-leading Brumbies.

"We're very happy, we knew it was going to be an excellent Jaguares team that came out, but we knew if we stuck to our game plan, things would open up toward the end of the game for us," stand-in Western Force captain Heath Tessmann said.

"Our bench came on and did an excellent job, they really closed out the game for us."

In what was a scrappy and niggly contest, both teams were guilty of wobbly passes and handling errors in a try-less first half.

Scrumhalf Ian Prior kicked a penalty goal shortly before halftime, but a flood of mistakes, including Jaguares fullback Joaquin Tuculet losing the ball in contact as he looked certain to score, ensured the Force's 3-0 lead would remain at the break.

Replacement Force winger James Verity-Amm appeared to have scored a wonderful try straight after the break, after Semi Masirewa defused a midfield bomb and broke into space, only for the TMO to rule obstruction.

Jaguares flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez and Prior traded penalties for 20 minutes after halftime, but the Force were slowly winning the field position battle.

The Force blew an opportunity after they'd played for 18 phases, but they reset the attack after regaining possession and winger Alex Newsome crashed over from short range for the first try of the match in the 67th minute.

Prior missed the conversion, and the Force led 11-6.

The visitors soon found themselves deep on attack again, and after building phases, powerful replacement backrower Isi Naisarani barged his way over to put the Western Australians ahead by 10 points inside the last five minutes.

The experience of Prior and former Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant ensured the Force played the final minutes out at the right end of the ground.

The Jaguares have the bye next weekend in Round 13, while the Force return to Perth to host the Highlanders, who are on their way back to New Zealand after completing their tour of South Africa.

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