Unlucky losses no good for Force: Wessels

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Force coach Dave Wessels has joined the growing campaign against courageous losses after a 16-7 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs on Saturday night.

The Force have developed a reputation for honourable defeats in recent seasons and while their effort on Saturday came against the backdrop of an injury-riddled fortnight, Wessels wasn’t keen to make excuses.

“We've got to stop being the club that always is the unlucky losers, happy to lose, particularly when we're losing the same way,” he said.

“We should've learned a lesson, particularly in terms of our back-to-back errors in previous games and we've repeated those errors and we haven't got the result that we've wanted.

“We've got to learn those lessons and we've got to be pretty honest with ourselves, which I reckon is probably the disappointing part of the game.”

Luke Morahan copped a hit to the eye in the match. Photo: Getty ImagesWessels said the coming days would involve some blunt exchanges with his players, with inexperience only turned into success by improvement.

“It's all very well to say, 'spend time together' (it will improve),” he said.

“If we're not actually prepared to have pretty tough conversations with each other in the next couple of days, then I'll be sitting here next week saying exactly the same thing, which won't be acceptable.”

Wessels praised second row debutant Lewis Carmichael, for ‘not taking a backwards step’ against Brodie Retallick in his first outing, though their injury-depleted lineout suffered in Perth.

The severity of injuries to Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring) and Luke Morahan (eye), will likely be known on Monday, as the side’s preparations begin for the Lions.

Last year’s finalists have plenty of weapons and Wessels said they would need to step up against the Johannesburg side.

“I think they've got a very well-balanced game and they've got a very strong set piece game but they've also got a good running game and kicking game,” he said.