Heartbreak in round four made a final round win that much sweeter for the Western Force women, finishing third in the Super W.
Force coach Sebastian Delport was a happy man after the disappointment of last week’s two-point last gasp loss to Queensland which robbed the westerners of a chance at the final.
“We made it hard for ourselves with that first half performance but I’m really very thrilled with the result,” Delport said.
“We just really wanted to focus on that accuracy – in both attack and defence - we felt that’s what let us down in those dying moments against the Reds.”
Five points down at half-time, Delport laid down a challenge to his players.
“We talked about work rate and accuracy," he said.
"We weren’t executing our structures, we weren’t making good decisions even though we were camped in their 22 for quite a significant period of that first half – we didn’t come away with any significant points purely based on poor decision-making under pressure,” he said.
The youngsters in the team stood out for the Force , something that really pleased Delport with a view to the future development of the team.
“We’re really impressed with how they have gone – and that’s for all the young players,” he said.
“They’ve really stood up and shown they not only have what it takes to play at this level but they have a big potential in front of them as far as their future is concerned.”
For Brumbies coach Tony Doherty the frustration was telling, after a half-time lead was again squandered in the back half of the game.
“Throughout this season up until half-time, we have had three games we were within two points of the team that finished up winning and the fact is, we just haven’t been able to finish off a second half,” Doherty said.
“Something we have to come back with is the ability to build pressure in the second half and be able to finish out games.”
The positives according to Doherty is that they have started games well challenging the opposition for the first 40 minutes.
“From the other perspective, we’re doing something right because every first half we’ve basically been in front or we’ve been pressuring the team that finishes up winning.
As disappointed as he was with the Brumbies' second half, Doherty paid all due credit to the game plan of the Force to run away with that result.
“They played very well with young Tui Cope, she’s come on and she just took control of the game – her kicking game kept turning us around and we weren’t able to exit out of our 22,” he said.
“Credit to them and the fact they put us under pressure and gave them opportunities to score tries and kick penalties so that was very well played by her.”