Force vs Blues: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

The Blues have bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Lions last week to hold onto a four point victory over the Force, but what did we learn?

Force let early chances slip

The Force had 70% of the possession and spent four consecutive minutes in the Blues defensive 22 to start the match but were only able to come away with three points. The Blues hit back instantly to hold a 14 point lead at the break and while the Force fought gallantly in the second half, their execution really hurt them.

What home ground advantage?

The Force are the only team in Super Rugby to have not won a match at home this season. The Force have won matches against the Reds and Sunwolves this season and currently sit in third last place on the overall standings. Even the struggling Kings, who have managed to accumulate just four points this season, have won a match at home.The Blues are now on equal points with the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images

Dane Haylett-Petty the key

The most consistent player for the Force this season continues to shine in a struggling side. Racking up a team-high 70 run metres, Haylett-Petty alongside Luke Morahan were the two players that added spark and attacking flair to Force. The big question being, will Michael Cheika reward Haylett-Petty with a spot in his Wallabies squad next month!?

Matt Hodgson hurting

It was a tough night on paddock for the Force but was made even worse when captain courageous Matt Hodgson went off on in the 65th minute with what looked like to be a shoulder injury. Despite being 33 years old, Hodgson continues to lead from the front for the Force and enjoyed a stellar night scoring a try and making a team-high 12 tackles.

 

New Zealand dominance

Looking at the ladder after 13 rounds and it’s the strength of the New Zealand conference that continues to be a worrying sign for the Aussies. The Blues are currently the bottom ranked Kiwi side on 29 points, level with the Brumbies, Australia’s second ranked side and just one point shy of the conference leading Waratahs.  

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