Force galvanised by ongoing speculation: Wessels

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Sick of being "unlucky losers" and losing by the same means every week, Dave Wessels has challenged his players to turn their season around against the Lions on Saturday night.

A wayward set piece, poor discipline and some average handling errors have been the theme of the Force's season to date.

They have been there or there abouts in almost all of their matches but with each narrow loss, the frustration has grown.

"We are just sick of repeating the same errors," Wessels said.Dave Wessels is sick of the Force being 'unlucky losers'. Photo: Getty Images"There are certain things around the set piece that we didn't get right, things we spoke about pre-game that we didn't implement."It's all very well to feel sorry for ourselves but we are ambitious."

The rookie head coach puts that down to several factors but highlighted the youth in his squad as one key element.

"With the injuries that we have had, there are a number of guys playing that are getting exposure for the first time," Wessels said.

"Ultimately that will be a good thing for us in the long run and stand us in good stead over the next couple of months but we can't use that as an excuse.

"We've got to learn from these experiences, otherwise we are wasting them."Dane Haylett-Petty is one of several missing stars for the Force. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile on the injury front, Wessels said Ben McCalman has suffered a hairline fracture in his scapula.He has flown to Melbourne to see specialists and is slated for a return in five weeks time.

Off field, the uncertainty that surrounds the Force's future continues to drag on, a factor that continues to impact the team's on field performance.

"Yeah, I guess in some ways it probably is (having an impact)," Wessels said.

"On the flip side of that - someone said to me yesterday that you should never waste a crisis - and it has galvanised the team as well as the whole rugby community of WA.

"We went out and did an open training session at Joondalup earlier in the week.

"Some months ago there would have been a man and his dog there but there would have been 300 or 400 people there that turned up to watch us train on a Tuesday afternoon.

"There's no doubt that the challenges that we are facing are in some ways a positive.

"I think if we get through this - when we get through this - I think the experiences we are going through now will be very good for the group, the team and the club."

The Force face the Lions at nib Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 9:55pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS and on radio at RUGBY.com.au.

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