Force's money man a diamond in the rough

Super Rugby
by AAP

He's been raking in the dollars at training, and Western Force winger Chance 'Money' Peni has taken little time to prove he's worth every cent.

Outside interest in the Force's recruiting spree mostly centred around the acquisition of former NRL star Curtis Rona.
But Peni has shaped as an equally astute recruitment, with the former Cook Islands Test representative making an impressive start to his Super Rugby career.

Peni starred in Thursday night's 26-19 win over the Reds, scoring a second-minute try and making a series of blistering line breaks.

His ability to back himself and bust through tackles looms as a crucial weapon for the Force this season.

The 23-year-old was part of the Western Force Academy while at Aranmore College in 2010, and more recently he spent two years on Wests Tigers list without playing a senior NRL game.

In between, he played for the Junior Kiwis against the Junior Kangaroos, and also played for the Cook Islands in their World Cup qualifier against Tonga in 2015.
Chance Peni looks to tackle the Reds Eto Nabuli. Photo: Getty Images.Peni has impressed the Force's coaching staff since returning to Perth at the end of last year, and now he's starting to make the rest of the Super Rugby world stand up and take notice.

And as for the James Bond-like Moneypenney nickname?

"We have a competition at the captain's run where the whole team gets the chance to kick the ball at the goal post, and there's a prize for the winner" coach Dave Wessels explains.

"And 'Money' Peni gets it every week. He's our lucky charm. He's going well.

"The real thing that gives you confidence in Chance is that he just goes at everything at 150 per cent. - Dave Wessels.
"It's a fantastic thing you want in a winger.

"The tougher it gets or the riskier it gets, the more Chance is up for it. That's the sort of guy he is, which is great."

The Force will be aiming to make it two wins on the trot for the first time since 2014 when they take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday night.

Lock Adam Coleman will miss the match after tearing his calf against the Reds, while skipper Ben McCalman (thumb) is still not ready to return.

But former captain Matt Hodgson is ready to roll after recovering from a hamstring injury, and flyhalf Jono Lance has been cleared of broken ribs.

Thursday's win over the Reds was the first triumph under new coach Wessels.

The 34-year-old is loving the senior coaching role so far, but the match day stress can take its toll.

"I aged about 3000 years," Wessels joked.

"My advice to anybody is don't coach. It's a terrible, terrible job."