Force edge Reds with late try
Ben McCalman takes part in a training session at Eden Park in Auckland on October 20, 2011 - by Paul Ellis
Fullback Hayward beat three tackles, including efforts by Wallaby halves Quade Cooper and Will Genia, to score next to the goalposts in the 79th minute to wrest back the lead in a see-sawing contest.
It was the much-improved Force's fourth straight win and propelled the Perth-based side to second spot behind the ACT Brumbies in the Australian conference ahead of the NSW Waratahs match in South Africa later Saturday.
The Force outscored the Reds three tries to two and slugged it out with the 2011 Super Rugby champions in a fluctuating second half where the lead changed six times.
Force began well with a 12-0 lead off the boot of South African fly-half Sias Ebersohn before the Reds hit the front with converted tries from Ben Tapuai and James Slipper.
Number eight Ben McCalman retrieved the lead for Force with a close-range try only for Cooper to level the scores at 17-17 at halftime with a penalty.
Mike Harris looked as though as he would kick the Reds to victory with four penalties as Force scored through ex-Red Luke Morahan and an Ebersohn drop goal.
But Force had the last word with Hayward breaking through three tackles to score the clinching try which he converted and then they saw off a drop goal attempt by Cooper after the full-time siren.
"The belief is there by scoring right at the end," Force skipper Matt Hodgson said.
"In previous years we would have gone into our shell, but the belief is there this year.
"We are playing as a fifteen combination between backs and forwards and people are stepping up this year, we have a whole group that is playing football."
It was a shattering defeat for the Reds, who slumped to 3-4 this season and only have the Melbourne Rebels below them in the Australian conference standings.
"They brought a lot of pressure on to our breakdown and we weren't good enough with our tackling," Reds skipper James Horwill said.
"We were committing too many numbers at the breakdown which didn't allow us to attack with numbers."
It was the Western Force's second consecutive win in Brisbane and follows successive victories this season against the Rebels, Otago Highlanders and the Waikato Chiefs.
The Force will be at home next weekend against the Waratahs, while the Reds face the Brumbies in Brisbane.