After a mammoth defensive display against the Rebels, it really looks like Brad Thorn’s young Queensland side are coming of age. With Tate McDermott back at 9, Fraser McReight Hooper-like pilfering and the Tongan Thor’s 130kg of man machine can the Force get their first win against the men in red. The Force on the other had seem to be stumbling and losing confidence. That one-point loss to the Rebels has squashed their spirits and the men from the West need to find the resilience and mental strength to get that first win and sort the lineout.
So my 4-point analysis
- The battle of the half backs and a new starting centre pairing for both teams
- Western Force Defence and Lineouts, yes again
- Maybe the Force should use a kicking game this week
- Still Can the Force get that first win?
The battle of the half backs.
Tate McDermott has been the standout number 9 of the tournament, in my opinion. I don’t know why Thorn started Malolua ahead of him. Tate has energy and composure, youth and agility and skill. He is connecting well with James O’Connor, former Force player of 38 games.
Ian Prior is returned last game after a niggling pectoral muscle injury and with Jono Lance at 10 they had a good game against the Waratahs
Kyle Godwin and Richard Kahui had a good game against the Tahs This is where the Force could have the advantage over the Reds. Kahui and Godwin are strong and with Kahui’s line breaks and off loads that’s all the Force need. Stander connections again would be crucial. They will just have to watch Jordan Petaia out on the wing. He is awesome.
Last week when doing my research for this article. I had plenty of conversations with a good friend and rugby pundit, friend Conor Brennan. Conor and I fundamentally disagreed with his answer to winning the game was a controlled kicking game. Now Conor might have a point. The Force need to do something different and is that a kicking game? The problem with the force kicking to touch is their line outs.
Western Force Forwards and Lineout
Tim Sampson is making the changes in the lineout with Andrew Ready starting for the first time in Super rugby AU against his old side. But Sampson has also brought Sea of Blue favourite back onto the bench. Tessmann is a Force stalwart and a great lineout thrower. But are the Force going to shake things up in the lineout with various options like not throwing the Thrush. The reds are coming off that 170 tackles in the second half game so for the force hopefully they are all tackled out.
As the Super Rugby AU continues, Australian Rugby has been the winner here. Our 5 teams playing each other week in week out. For the rugby fan we are beginning to get to know our players again from all sides. The fun rivalries continue but to me the Brumbies are still looking like the team to beat
I am going to leave it there today
Can the Force get that elusive Super Rugby Au win against the Reds?
Yes we can.
In Summary for the Force to win:
Win the lineouts
No stupid mistakes
Get the ball to Ralston
Don’t kick the ball away and
Score more than the Reds Woohooooooooo
Western Force: 15 Jack Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior (c), 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Andrew Ready 1 Pek Cowan
Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Jack McGregor, 23 Henry Taefu
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (c), 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Angus Blyth, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Jack Straker
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Jack Hardy
Venue: CBUS Stadium, Gold Coast
Date Friday 21 August
Kick-off 19:05 local
Referee Jordan Way
AR1 Nic Berry
AR2 Damon Murphy
TMO Brett Cronan