All in the mind for Western Force

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Psychology will be key for the Force as they search to salvage something in 2016, after another loss on Saturday night.

The WA franchise has made a habit of inconsistent performances this season, with opponents blowing out margins late in matches.

Coach Michael Foley said Saturday’s 49-13 loss to the Waratahs was especially frustrating because, he said, it misrepresented his side.

“My belief is the players care about each other and they care about the jersey,” he said.

“When you look at that performance there tonight the thing that’s probably most disappointing is that when you look at the scoreboard it’s easy to assume that they don’t.”

Foley said their focus now was on rebounding and taking some pride from their remaining games.

“The rest of the year comes down to being true to the words," he said.

“I think our team’s always said they care about each other.

“Although we may not necessarily be in the playoff race being able to go out and show that type of character that we have before is critical.”

“The expectations we put on ourselves may have been too great and certainly at this point in time you’d say they are.”

With their recent stranglehold over the Waratahs ended with the loss, the Force were left to lament missed chances in areas where they have traditionally exercised dominance.

Force halfback Alby Mathewson voiced his disappointment post-match, but said the side had faith in their plan.

“It’s not us not caring it’s just mental lapses,” he said.

“We did things defensively we shouldn’t do. It’s not a physical thing it’s a mental thing.

“The Waratahs are a quality side, they’ve got Wallabies throughout their backline and they punish those mental lapses.

“We’ve got to make sure we stick at it no matter what’s going on.”

The Force will welcome back some experienced players in the  coming weeks, with Luke Morahan (deep vein thrombosis) and Ian Prior among those returning.

Flyhalf Peter Grant is under an injury cloud after a knock to the eye left him with blurred vision in the match against the Waratahs..