Cron ready to unleash Tizzano in quest for Reds redemption

Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 6:31 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

Western Force coach Simon Cron believes the side have put their Super Round disappointments behind them as they prepare to rematch the Reds on Saturday.

The Force were thumped 71-20 in round two, their worst defeat since 2007 and a sudden shock for Cron after a dream debut as coach against the Melbourne Rebels.

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Cron rejected any suggestions they were out for revenge, confident they have made the right adjustments to handle the Reds' pressure.

“It’s an interesting one. Probably in life I’m about revenge but in Rugby I’m more about us doing our jobs way better than we did that day,” he told Rugby.com.au

“It was tough to watch the first time but the boys have learnt a lot since then and done some different things in their own development and in their skill sets.

“The good thing about Rugby is that week we got to play a game seven days later and come up against Moana Pasifika. The measure of a team is how they bounce (back) and the key thing for the men is to focus on our game.”

Cron will hand mid-season return Carlo Tizzano his Force re-debut, slotting back perfectly after a neck injury to Ollie Callan.

It will mark Tizzano's Super Rugby debut for his home club, initially featuring during Global Rapid Rugby, returning from England a more mature player.

“He’s a full noise competitor,” he said,

“He wants to win every moment and he’s aggressive in the way he does it. He’s really driven. I’m really enjoying him in our environment and I’m sure the boys are too.

“Him and I and a great sit-down about three months ago when he was in Perth and we were just catching up talking about life and I asked him some questions about what he learnt and he was really good.

“He had learnt some of those critical things that you do as a young player and was even more driven which I like.”

Prop Charlie Hancock will also make his Force debut, coming in for Tom Robertson after he tweaked his calf.

He will likely be sidelined for the next couple of weeks alongside Folau Fainga'a (Achilles) and Isi Naisarani (knee), with Izack Rodda (foot) likely back Round 13.

The Force enter the contest brimming with confidence after last week's win over the Highlanders.

“I think what it does is gives us confidence in the structure and systems we’re playing,” Cron added.

“They learnt if we keep the ball and build pressure, they’re going to break, especially if we start to open them up with ball in hand. We had to use the ball a lot against the Highlanders because they are big bodies. 

“You can learn a lot from winning than you can sometimes from losing, there was still a lot to review from that game that we could be doing better. There’s big upside from the way we played and where we can go.”

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