Force begin new era with a win
REPORT: Billionaire Western Force owner Andrew Forrest has delivered on his promise to make rugby more exciting after the inaugural World Series Rugby season kicked off on Friday.
Along with the main fixture, the Western Force taking on the Fiji Warriors, the event featured Australian rock band Wolfmother, dancers, skydivers and fireworks, keeping 19 466 fans on the edge of their seats throughout the entire experience.
The Force eventually emerged victorious, posting a 24-14 victory in their first game since being axed from Super Rugby at the end of last season.
Apart from the fireworks and dancers, the playing format of World Series Rugby provides an intriguing point of difference.
The new format allows teams to score a seven-point try if they can score from one continuous possession that starts inside their own 22-metre line. Teams may also take line-outs as fast as they want – regardless of whether the opposition is ready.
Force centre and US international Marcel Brache scored the first World Series Rugby try as the Force took a 19-0 lead into the sheds.
The Force are scheduled to play six more fixtures in the inaugural World Series Rugby season, against invitational sides from Tonga, Samoa, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
Force Owner and competition founder Forrest addressed the crowd before the groundbreaking game.
"Last year was a great injustice, and one that we want to right," Forrest said.
"You are the reason I did this. Your presence here will help this.
"I'm relying on you – mums and dads, boys and girls – to back the Western Force – not for a game, not for a season, but for a generation."
The competition continues next Sunday when the Force take on Tonga at nib Stadium.