Western Force look to weather the Stormers

Fri, 17/04/2015, 02:30 am
RUGBY.com.au staff
by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Western Force return home in a bid to snap a seven-match losing streak when they take on an in-form Stormers outfit on Saturday night.

With nine rounds gone, the Force are yet to win a fixture since their season-opener against the NSW Waratahs and Head Coach Michael Foley believes Saturday represents another tough challenge for his side.

"As with any South African opponent, it's important that we're up for the physical challenge in defence and at the breakdown, which has been a feature of our performances in our past three matches," he said.

"While playing physically is a foundation, we have to play smart to finish off the effort that's being put in every week. When 'decision making' is mentioned, it's easy to assume there's a level of complexity, but it's a simple, focus on firstly creating momentum and secondly playing with awareness to take opportunities we're creating.”

The two sides have played each other on seven occasions with the Force taking the spoils on just two occasions, including their first ever Super Rugby victory in 2010. The Western Force are currently leading the competition in lineouts won with an average of 13.6 compared to the Stormers who have won an average 9.1 and are ranked 12th.

In a boost for the home side, flanker Chris Alcock will play his 50th Super Rugby match. The 26-year-old has played 25 fixtures for the NSW Waratahs, and 24 for the Force since joining the club ahead of the 2013 season.

"Saturday marks a notable milestone for Chris in his 50th match. Chris has been an excellent team man and on field performer for the club over the past three seasons.” Foley said.

“Like all our '7's, he loves rolling his sleeves up and getting his hands on the ball in attack and defence, and I know that all the boys will rip in to contribute to a memorable occasion for him on Saturday."

Incumbent Force lock Adam Coleman is also looking forward to returning to the ‘Force Field’ and is hoping the Perth faifthful will help to get the team over the line.

“We love playing at home in front of the ‘Sea of Blue’, the more people we get out there, the more enjoyable it is for us and hopefully we get the result this weekend.”

For all the LIVE action, tune into FOX SPORTS 2 & 2HD on Saturday night from 9:45pm AEST to catch the Western Force v Stormers clash.

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