Rob Kearney stars in the Western Force’s first Super Rugby win since 2017

Rob Kearney played a crucial role in the Western Force’s first Super Rugby win in almost four years, as they defeated the Waratahs in Sydney.

The former Ireland international made 10 carries and controlled play in the Western Force’s back field, in Kearney’s second game in Super Rugby AU.

The Western Force now find themselves in third place in the Super Rugby AU table, having come back from 13 points down to secure a 20-16 win against the struggling New South Wales Waratahs.

It was the Force’s first win in nine matches, having been beaten in their eight Super Rugby AU matches last season on their return to the competition.

Return to winning ways in Super Rugby.

The Perth-based side were cut from Super Rugby in 2017, despite a solid season that saw them finish above fellow Australian teams the Waratahs, the Melbourne Rebels and the Queensland Reds.

After that, the Western Australians played in Global Rapid Rugby, a competition funded by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, who also backs the Force themselves.

After the regular 2020 Super Rugby season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Australia – along with New Zealand and South Africa – set up domestic Super Rugby competitions.

Rugby Australia invited the Force to take part in the competition on short notice, and although they came within seven points of their opponents on three occasions, they were unable to secure a win.

Their winless drought ended on Friday, however, and after a number of high-profile signings such as Argentina international Tomas Cubelli, Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani and Kearney, the Force will aim to qualify for the playoffs this season.

While the Western Australians will be delighted with the win, the game was not without its controversy, as Force hooker Andrew Ready was sent off for a punch on Waratahs lock Hugh Sinclair.

The Force were able to hang on to the win as they withstood a late attack from the Waratahs in their own 22, and will aim to secure their second win on the bounce as they welcome the Rebels to Perth next weekend.

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