Force vs Bulls: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

A rampaging second half from the Bulls saw them defeat the Western Force 42-20 at nib Stadium. But what did we learn? 

Can’t stop the counter attack

Five points down at half-time, the Force were very much in the game but both the Bulls' first half tries came from counter attacking plays. The first ended with an offload to backrower Hanro Liebenberg while Jan Serfontein made an 80m break to extend their lead. In what could’ve been a tight match, crucial slip ups by the Force were brutally punished by the Bulls.

The Bulls scored 24 unanswered second half points against the Force. Photo: Getty Images

Brache and Rasolea showing glimpses

The Force managed to throw the ball around nicely in the opening half and speedsters Marcel Brache and Junior Rasolea made the most of every opportunity. Brache was especially dangerous at the kick-offs, making clinical tackles and even a turnover, while Rasolea’s highlight was a 60m intercept, though he just fell short of the try line. These youngsters will continue to grow with confidence with more game time.

What next for the Force?

The season from hell continues for the Force after a seventh consecutive loss and eighth of the season. The Force have managed just six competition points from the opening 10 rounds and sit second last on the overall ladder behind the Kings. The Force will head to Japan for their first encounter against the ever improving Sunwolves, searching for a vital morale boost.

Captain Courageous gave his all

If you could get a bonus point for passion, Matt Hodgson would be leading the pack. Hodgo never stops and finished the night with 17 tackles, two turnovers and a try. At 33, though, Hodgson needs the next group of leaders to step up and show that they’re not a one-man army.

Matt Hodgon led from the front all night. Photo: Getty Images

Big Bulls bulldoze Force

The set piece continues to be an issue for the Force, especially against a massive forward pack like the Bulls. At scrum time, the Sea of Blue struggled to hold its own, continually conceding penalties and losing tightheads. It’s an issue that coach Michael Foley will want to work on during the week, though it might be an easier task against the Sunwolves next week.