[Source: Western Force/ Twitter]
Fijian flyer Manasa Mataele helped set-up a try as the Western Force end their losing streak with a 48-28 win over Moana Pasifika.
Playing their postponed round-10 match last night in Auckland, the Force ignited their finals hope, running in seven tries to also collect a vital bonus point.
That came in the 78th minute when Kyle Godwin ran on to a break by star winger Mataele to touch down.
The result meant the Force have moved into ninth position on the ladder, three points behind the Highlanders with the top eight playing finals.
Force now need to beat the fifth-placed Hurricanes on Saturday night and rely on 10th-placed Rebels to beat the Highlanders on Sunday.
Moana Pasifika led 14-5 early thanks to two tries by winger Tima Fainga’anuku
But they lost centre Levi Aumua to a yellow card for an ugly lifting tackle on Richard Kahui.
Force fullback Jake McIntyre scored the first of his two tries three minutes later to swing momentum his team’s way.
Centre Byron Ralston then crossed right on halftime, with Ian Prior adding the extras to secure a 19-14 buffer.
The Force extended that lead to 20 points through Toni Pulu, McIntyre’s second and Jackson Pugh and it looked like they had the bonus point in their keeping.
But Moana Pasifika kept them on their toes with a 69th-minute try to Tau Koloamatangi.
That set up a thrilling finish with the Force needing to cross again to get the extra point, with Godwin coming up trumps.