Wessels: This performance is on me

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Force coach Dave Wessels has claimed responsibility for his team's lack of discipline - the deciding factor in tonight's 25-17 loss to the Brumbies.

A clearly frustrated Wessels spoke with purpose post-match, pointing the finger firmly at his own messaging throughout the week.

"To have almost double the number of penalties against as penalties for when all through the week we have spoken about discipline is not acceptable," he said.

"But as I just said to the players now, first and foremost this performance is on me.The Force struggled to cap the impact of Wharenui Hawera tonight. Photo: Getty Images"My job is to make sure we get the messaging right and that we arrive at the game with the right frame of mind.

"While there will certainly be a number of individuals that will have to front up over the next couple of days I think first and foremost, that performance is on me."

Wessels' side controlled the match for large portions but poor scrummaging and a 14-8 penalty count allowed the Brumbies to overwhelm them late.

Ross Haylett-Petty's yellow card in the 70th minute for a late hit was the straw that broke the camel's back, as the home side ran in two match-winning tries in the ten minutes that followed.

"We really let the Brumbies into the game," he said.Ben Daley and the Force forward pack struggled at scrum time tonight. Photo: Getty Images"They've only scored through the errors that they have made - whether that be through scrum time or in open phase - that's exactly what they want and exactly how they play rugby.

"We knew that coming into the game and everyone in Super Rugby knows that."

The frustrated Force now sit at 1-2, though they could easily be 3-0 given they were leading late tonight and similarly let several opportunities slide against the Waratahs in round one.

"In particular, just going around the change room now, the senior players in particular are being pretty tough on themselves and their performances," Wessels said.

"As they should be.

"We learn from this, which means we have got to internalise it a little bit, it's got to hurt a little bit and we have to have some pretty honest conversations over the next couple of days."