Five things we learnt from Force-Hurricanes

Fri, Feb 23, 2024, 12:36 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Highlights from the Round 1 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Western Force and Hurricanes

The Hurricanes were in complete control as they left Perth with full points thanks to a 44-14 victory over the Force.

It was a ruthless performance by the visitors who rolled their way over the top of a Force side still finding their feet.

Don't miss Super Round 2024 in Melbourne from March 1-3. Get your tickets now! 

Simon Cron's side shows patches of brilliance but not enough to match it with the Hurricanes.

So what did we learn?

1. Continuity is key

It sounds simple but the Force looked like a team with six players in their first Super Rugby game for the club.

They lacked composure in attack and seemed to chase the game after an early Hurricanes try.

Coupled with a composed performance from the visitors and the Force were never able to make any real gains or apply pressure until the second half.

You can play all the trials in the world but there’s nothing like the intensity of a Super Rugby match. It’ll come over time, but the Force can’t afford to let a great early draw go to waste. 

2. Double Jeopardy

Marley Pearce got the perfect lesson on why dropping your body height is king.

Pearce collided with Jordie Barrett in an ugly tackle to earn a yellow and what appeared to be a broken nose.

It left the prop on the ground as referee Damon Murphy had no choice but to issue the card.

Pearce’s yellow was the fourth to an Aussie team on the opening day, a worrying trend early on.

3. Displaying their class

Wallabies Nic White and Ben Donaldson showed enough in brief moments to give Force fans hope heading into the rest of the season.

White’s dart and try was a great example of his smarts to start their comeback. Donaldson meanwhile was great from the boot both in play and on the tee. 

There is still work to be done, with some passes from both not finding their mark in the first half.

Unlocking Max Burey at the back is crucial. He is key towards getting the best out of Spink, Potter and Tiatia.

4. Return of the ratty

Jordi Viljoen is channelling his best Kostya Tszyu with the worst/best (depending on where you stood) rats tail hairstyles in Rugby.

It was flowing in the wind as the young half raced away for his debut try, following up his outstanding trial form.

Viljoen is the latest in the Hurricanes' endless scrum half production line, with Cam Roigard coming off the bench to close out the game.

5. Front row fixes

The loss of Tom Robertson and Harry Hoopert was laid bare tonight at scrum time.

Outside of an early free kick win, the Force were constantly on their back foot at scrum time. It extended to lineout time with six lineout losses, feeling the absence of Izack Rodda and Jeremy Williams

The entire Hurricanes pack were clinical throughout the game and were key to their first half dominance.

With Hoopert not back for several months, the Force needs to find a way to shore up their set-piece game before they head to Melbourne and face a full international front row that got the better of the Brumbies.

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