White: Force determined to atone after Reds loss leaves 'sour taste'

Tue, May 28, 2024, 8:08 AM
by Ben Somerford
Western Force scrum-half Nic White spoke to reporters ahead of the Round 15 home game against the ACT Brumbies.

Western Force scrum-half Nic White concedes the weekend’s defeat to the Queensland Reds has left a “sour taste” and says the side are determined to atone for that in the Round 15 clash with the ACT Brumbies.

The Force remain in finals contention heading into the Round 15 encounter against the Brumbies at HBF Park from 5:35pm WST on Saturday.

To make finals, the Force need a win and hope for a Fijian Drua loss against the Melbourne Rebels, along with neither side getting a bonus-point win in the Crusaders-Moana Pasifika game. A Force bonus-point victory and a Drua loss, will also lock in a top-eight berth.

But White wasn’t getting caught up in the permutations, instead keeping a simpler focus on Saturday night and putting on a performance to make the Sea of Blue proud.

“I think we’re all genuinely excited about the opportunity of righting some wrongs from last week,” White told reporters immediately following the team review on Tuesday morning.

“We’ve reviewed it hard because you need to, you need to learn from these. We know we’re capable of doing the opposite. Once we’ve got this Tuesday morning review out of the way, we’ll heavily focus on what we can do and we’ve shown that at home, so that’s exciting.

“It’s left a real sour taste in not only everyone here, but everyone who supports the Force. We’re all in it together and we look forward to getting back with them and righting those wrongs and finishing how we’d like to finish.

“If we do that, who knows what comes after that.”

While the away loss to the Reds has left a “sour taste”, the Wallabies scrum-half was enthused by the Force’s home form, having won their past four games at HBF Park, where they’ll return against the Brumbies.

“Our full focus is on putting out a performance that we can be proud of in front of the Sea of Blue at home where we have performed well, we are capable of doing it,” he said.

“We’re obsessed by that this week, Jeremy (Williams) said it, we’ve got to leave no stone unturned to make sure that happens.

“All the external stuff, while that may have been a focus over the last few weeks, we’re purely focused on our performance this week. We know we’re up against a side that will turn up, the Brumbies are a tough opposition.

White, 33, knows the Brumbies well, having made more than 100 appearances for the ACT side over two stints from 2011 to 2015 and 2020 to 2023.

“We know the Brumbies are going to come over and want to upset the breakdown and upset the rhythm of the game,” White said.

“They’ve got a certain way they’d like to play as well. We’ll be doing our best to upset theirs.”

White joked there’d be a text sent to the Rebels players requesting a favour against the Drua, while he acknowledged they’d monitor results over the weekend, with the Force-Brumbies game being the last of all six in Round 15, meaning they’ll know the scenario by kick-off.

“I really think if you just put your head in the sand you’re doing yourself a disservice,” White said.

“You have to watch it, keep an eye on it, talk about it, address the elephant in the room, ‘look if this happens, this can’t distract us from what we’re doing’.

“The more you don’t think about the elephant in the room, the more you think about it. We’ll address it. But what we’re focused on is what we can control, which is our performance.”

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