Historic victory but Force injuries mount
Sam Wykes leaves the field against the Tahs. Pic: Getty Images

A battered and bruised Western Force have just four days to repair the wounds of an unbelievable defensive display before heading to Melbourne for a clash with the Rebels.

The casualty list from Saturday night's win against the NSW Waratahs - a Force-record fifth straight victory - will not make pleasant reading for coach Michael Foley.

The Force produced one of their greatest defensive efforts, making 169 tackles with only 30 per cent possession in the face of relentless attacks from the massive Waratahs outfit.

But the 28-16 win, a huge turnaround from the first-round 43-21 loss to the Tahs, came at a cost.

The extraordinary effort was epitomised by hooker Nathan Charles who collapsed on the sidelines after the game, needed a drip inserted, and had to be helped to the change rooms before being kept in hospital overnight.

Foley is waiting for reports on injuries to second-rower Sam Wykes, scrum-half Alby Mathewson, winger Luke Morahan and prop Pek Cowan, who all finished the game on the bench.

Forwards Hugh McMeniman and Chris Alcock are already sidelined and stocks took a further blow when full-back Jayden Hayward was a late withdrawal on Saturday night.

Hayward's loss meant Dane Haylett-Petty pulled on a Force jumper just an hour after being plucked from the local club competition.

He had played 60 minutes for Cottesloe against Associates at Swanbourne and expected to be part of a sponsor promotion that night.

That all changed when he went into the change rooms and heard his phone ringing.

"As I went in my phone was ringing. I didn't know the number but when I answered it was Chippy (Force team manager Mark Calverley). He told me I needed to get there as fast as I could. I was starting," Haylett-Petty said.

The 24-year-old made it to nib Stadium 35 minutes before kick-off.

"It was a bit of a shock but I got there as fast as I could," he said.

In the first round Israel Folau scored three tries for the Tahs, but Saturday night was the Nick Cummins show as the "Honey Badger" ran in a hat-trick of his own to take the Force to unknown heights - fourth on the Super15 ladder and second in the Australian conference.


The West Australian

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