He set up Zach Kibirige’s attempt in the first half with a clever short kick off the side of his boot, then dove over himself early in the second.
That attempt was recalled, but Tom Horton crossed on the back of a Force Driving Maul shortly after to give the guests a head start.
Simpson then threw the final pass for Bryce Hegarty to score and with less than 30 minutes to play, the forces were poised to finish off the winless hosts.
But No 10 Hegarty then limped away and Poolman’s brain atrophy quickly followed – Sean Withy, Jonah Lowe and Hugh Lenton all scored to seal a crucial win for the exhausted Highlanders.
Two late force attempts earned them at least a bonus point as they fell back to 2-2.
“It wasn’t the best, but it’s still a win and we’re building on that,” said Highlanders captain Billy Harmon.
“We’re dropping like flies, but Withy was ready to go; Late on the bench this week and then late in the starting XI just shows the lads are ready to go.”
Force prop Tom Robertson also failed on his HIA after lasting just six minutes, a blow to the Perth side in a three-week New Zealand swing.
‘We have let the Highlanders run over us many times; They carried strong and when you let a team roll it’s difficult to stem that flow,” said force skipper Michael Wells.
“We need to work things out and if that’s the team we need to be, then so be it.”
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/force-fall-in-back-and-forth-super-loss-to-highlanders-20230319-p5ctfb.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Force a fall in a back and forth super defeat against Highlanders