Short turnaround no worries for Force

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Force travelled across the country for round one of Super Rugby and now they’re heading back to Perth to prepare for the Reds in just five days’ time.

They face Queensland in Perth on Thursday, with a shorter turnaround than their opponents, and a mission to create a winning mentality.

Their first home game is one the side desperately wants to win, after dropping every nib Stadium clash in 2016, coach Dave Wessels said.

“We want to make our home as any team does, our fortress and our first chance to play in front of our home fans next week and that’s Thursday night,” he said.

“I think the real winner (will be) the team that recovers the best now as much as anything.

“I don’t think there’s a huge amount of time to prepare new things.

“I guess the one thing is that we’ve known we’re going t have this turnaround right from when the draw’s been announced.

“We do have a couple of things planned that we’ve been planning, that maybe we didn’t show tonight, that we’ll be able to do on Thursday.” - Dave Wessels

Gameday captain Heath Tessman said the Force showed their character against the Waratahs and would be looking to build on that come Thursday

“We were pretty disappointed with the result (against the Waratahs) but for a good part of the game we were the better team,” he said.

“Just (improving in) some of those big moments and being clinical in those big moments so we can keep building that pressure rather than letting them off the hook with that pressure, we’ll get some better results.”

Wessels said the first step was becoming a team that remembers how to take victories.

“Although I’m really angry because we lost that game and I actually think we should’ve won it, I do think the energy and the space that the team’s in is a good one and that comes through in our defence,” he said.

“What we need to do as an inexperienced team who’s not used to win, we need to learn how to win.

“It’s not good that we lose concentration in the big moments.

“We’ve got to be honest about those things and we’ve got to fix those things because the next game’s coming.” - Dave Wessels

Force skipper Ben McCalman is unlikely to play until their round three trip to Canberra to face the Brumbies, but they should be boosted by Matt Hodgson’s return on Thursday.

The Force won their only clash against the Reds last season, a 22-6 victory in Brisbane.