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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
The Western Force have come home strong in the final match of 2017 to defeat the NSW Waratahs 40-11 in Perth.
Captain Michael Hooper gave credit to the Force for the dominant performance they produced on the night.
“You can see what intent does and enthusiasm (does) to get a victory,” said Hooper. “Credit to them, they had it in spades and we didn’t so well done to the Force.”
Relentless rain hampered the ground for almost the entirety of the match, a factor which Hooper said added to the troubles.
“Skills in the wet killed us and game management was tough,” he said.
“The enthusiasm was there for 80 (minutes). We just didn’t have the belief in our structures and our system.
“Losses and lack of confidence really hurt us throughout the year.”
The Force opened up the scoring with a try to Alex Newsome within the opening plays of the match after the winger was rewarded for his support running. Another try went to the home side through execution of a rolling maul.
NSW Waratahs pivot Bernard Foley managed to bag himself two penalty kicks as the Perth side won the half 26-6.
The second half was much the same with the Force finishing up on top 40-11, with the rest of the NSW points coming from a sneaky lineout set play finished by reserve hooker Hugh Roach.
While the Force farewelled their own stalwart Matt Hodgson, the Tahs said goodbye to lock Dean Mumm and centre Rob Horne following their final game in the NSW jumper.
Despite not receiving the send-off he would have liked, Mumm is very grateful for his time in the Sky Blue.
“It is a tremendous honour to pull this jumper on,” said Mumm. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Waratahs jumper.
“Growing up as a young kid in Sydney it’s who I wanted to play for. To play with some of the idols… some of the great Waratahs of our time was a great experience.”
On the other side of the coin, Gen Blue U20 graduate Ryan McCauley made his debut for the state to become the 1645th person to don the jersey.
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