What did we learn from the Force vs Brumbies?
The opening 30 minutes was a fiery encounter, and in particular for the skippers. Stephen Moore and Matt Hodgson were involved in numerous heated discussions, which eventually led to referee Andrew Lees needing to take control. Both captains are inspirational in their own way and the heart and soul of their side.
Both coaches will be happy with parts of the match, but one issue which is sure to be discussed during the week is penalties condeded. The Force gave away eight penalties inside the opening 20 minutes, and a total of 17 for the match. The Brumbies only conceded nine, but it was the timing of them that will be a headache for Stephen Larkham.
Never say die attitude
The end result didn’t do the Force justice. They had 16% of possession inside the opening 25 minutes but continued to give it their all. Turning the tables numerous times in the second half, they caught the Brumbies off-guard. This can be highlighted by their 13-phase effort that led to a Luke Morahan try.
After an eerily quiet opening two rounds of Super Rugby, David Pocock was back to his pilfering best against the Force. Up against breakdown specialist Matt Hodgson, Pocock managed three pilfers, with two inside five minutes in the second half. Making eleven tackles to go with a bloodied nose, Pocock showed us why he was such a dominant force in the Rugby World Cup.
New attack, same defence
We’ve been hearing since pre season about the new attacking game plan of the Western Force but after uncontrollably humid conditions in week one, followed by rain in week two, the Force didn’t have the chance to show off their skills. However, tonight was the night for the Sea of Blue, as they crossed for two tries and continually spread the ball wide to their backs. With already strong defence, if the Force can nail down their attacking plan, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the weeks to come.