Wessels slams feeble Force defensive effort

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Dave Wessels has slammed his team's lack of urgency in defence after the Crusaders ran all over the Force in a 45-17 win last night.

The Force were able to hang with the Crusaders for the opening 40 minutes but an alarming lack of line speed made some passages of play look like a training run.

Even in the phases before Alex Newsome's brilliant intercept try, the Force were on their heels defensively, as the Crusaders forwards punched over the gain line with ease.

Speaking after the match, Wessels highlighted the issue.

"If you sit back on your heels and let the Crusaders play they will hurt you which is exactly what they did,” he said.Dave Wessels was not pleased with his team's defensive output. Photo: Getty Images“When we had the ball we were actually causing them some problems.

"The weak point of out game was our defence.

“We waited for them to run at us instead of being aggressive and that ultimately was our problem."

The scoreline blew out in the second half as the Force failed to halt any attacking movement by the clinical Crusaders.The Crusaders forwards ran all over the Force last night. Photo: Getty ImagesEven when reserve prop Tim Perry was shown a yellow card by Rohan Hoffman for repeated scrum infringements, the home side barely looked troubled by the one man disadvantage.

There were also a pair of TMO decisions which went against the visitors, including one bizarre Luke Romano try which should not have been awarded.

“I don’t think the score was representative of the game," Wessels said.

"That 14-point swing…it could have been a very different ball game and then we had to chase the game and the score got away from us."

On the injury front, Kane Koteka copped a heavy head knock when Jordan Taufua ran over him in the first half, while Jermaine Ainsley was left writhing in pain when a scrum collapsed on top of him and dislocated his elbow.