Force looking to deliver knockout blow

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Every team has a bogey side and on Saturday night the Western Force will look to continue their recent stranglehold over the Waratahs.

In the last two years the Waratahs and Brumbies have dominated the Australian conference as the only two Australian teams to qualify for the finals, but NSW have failed to take the points against the West Australian side.

Since 2013, the Force have won just 14 of their 39 matches but three of those have been against the Tahs.

In recent match ups it’s been the breakdown dominance of Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman that has hurt the 'Tahs. 

Ben McCalman is starting to find form following his stint in Japan.

Both players have hit peak form in 2016 and will look to hurt the much criticized Waratahs forward pack, which was again targeted in last week's loss to the Brumbies.

Force frontrower Tetera Faulkner put his side’s recent dominance over the Waratahs down to their defensive efforts.

“We obviously back our defence, so the more line speed we can get the more pressure we can put on them, that’s worked over the last few games," he said.

Hodgson may be 33 years of age but is still a force to reckon with at the breakdown as he leads the competition for tackles with 103 to his name, 19 more than his closest rival.

The Force have struggled to string 80 minutes together so far this season, but after a week off the rejuvenated side will come out firing at nib Stadium.

While finals contention might be out of reach for the  WA franchise, another win over the Waratahs could be a knockout blow for their cross-country opponents.

“Both teams will want to put in quite a good performance, especially us after not getting the result and the outcome we wanted (in recent weeks),” Faulkner said.

“As a team we’re building, playing our game and we’ve been talking about when wins are going to come.”

The Force host the Waratahs at nib Stadium on Saturday at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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