Wessels: Our best is yet to come

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Force coach Dave Wessels cut a relieved figure on Thursday night but is adamant the best is yet to come from his side.

The rookie coach has spoken openly about the desire to play a more expansive style of rugby in Perth this season.

His team is yet to break the Force mould of tough, breakdown-focused football but there were glimpses of attacking brilliance in the gritty 26-19 win over the Reds last night.

Chance Peni's dashing try in the second minute was a sneak peek of what attack coach Shaun Berne has been preaching all pre-season and news post-match that Jono Lance's knock to the ribs was not as bad as first thought will allow for that kind of rugby to continue in the weeks ahead.Heath Tessman's Force were backed by a 7000-strong crowd at nib Stadium last night. Photo: Getty Images"It feels pretty good and I think it (the win) was a pretty significant achievement by the team," Wessels said.

"I just thought we left a lot out there and in some ways we were pretty lucky to win it in the end.

"We are building a game and it’s significantly different from how we used to play but we have a huge amount of work until we are consistently competitive."

Wessels glowed with pride when asked about having to overcome the shortest turnaround between games in Super Rugby history.NRL convert Curtis Rona has been superb on both sides of the ball for the Force. Photo: Getty Images"Part of that was in the boys’ response to Saturday night (after the loss against the Waratahs)," he said.

"In the change rooms after the game the guys made sacrifices to get our bodies right and I think they decided then and there that they really wanted to win this game.

"That’s a really strong message to our team - you win games in preparation you don’t always win games on the day and in the moment.

"The team prepared well, they did everything we asked of them in terms of their recovery post game Saturday and despite all the hiccups and delays with the flight they got themselves in the right frame of mind." - Dave Wessels

The Force are sweating on the fitness of Wallaby lock Adam Coleman, who suffered a left calf injury and will have scans today.

"He’s not feeling great about it but we will see," Wessels said.

They will be boosted by the expected return of Matt Hodgson, who Wessels said would be right to go for their clash with the Brumbies at GIO Stadium next Friday.