Different Force a step forward

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The scoreline mightn't have changed much but Force coach Michael Foley said Friday night's performance against the Bulls was worlds apart from their loss a week earlier.

The Force competed for three-quarters of the match before being blown away but snatched a late try to give them minor consolation.

Foley pointed to that intent as an indicator that they had taken a step forward from their Waratahs match last weekend, where he felt too many external factors were getting his side down.

“That was a different performance to last week,” he said.

“We asked questions throughout the game and pleasingly didn’t drop our heads.

“There were a couple of tough moments where we needed to play better but that’s rugby not emotions.

“Last week while I’m absolutely certain they care, a performance last week creates doubt. 

“Tonight there’s rugby things to work on but it showed the character in this team.”

Force skipper Matt Hodgson pulled the players together early in the week to discuss changing the mindset, and playing more instinctively.

“It was just a meeting I had with the boys on Monday,” he said.

“I felt in the Waratahs game, we let them dictate the game and we were playing within ourselves.

“So now it’s about expressing ourselves, still sticking to systems but if you see something, back yourselves because your first instincts probably the right one.”

Hodgson said the character his side showed in the final stages was pleasing.

“We were on our line fighting hard get a turnover and go 90 metres to push them in a scrum and score a try in the 80th minute. 

“Some people might go,  ‘Why did you try that?’ but that’s the character I want in my boys.”

Developing centre Kyle Godwin had more influence on the game on Friday night and while rumours have been swirling that he is considering leaving Perth, Foley was optimistic about his future, with negotiations starting this week.