Western Force refusing to back down against Kiwi opponents

Mon, 10/05/2021, 11:45 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Feleti Kaitu'u is refusing to be intimidated by his Kiwi counterparts Photo: Getty Images

The Western Force are refusing to be intimated by their Kiwi counterparts as they prepare for Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Saturday's clash with the Chiefs will end their 1442-day drought without facing an international opponent in Super Rugby, defeated 34-12 by the Hurricanes in 2017 on that occasion.

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After a historic season, hooker Feleti Kaitu'u is adamant that the Force will be ready for the challenge that presents itself.

“I was a part of the group that came back and reignited the Force after they are exiled from Super Rugby. I’ve never experienced Rugby against the Kiwi sides so it’ll be really exciting,” he said on Monday.

“I think we’ll be ready for the challenge…defensively, we've shown that we don’t need all our players on the field to show up for one another.”

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Whilst Kaitu'u admits they need to prepare for a different style of Rugby, he was confident that they can defy expectations and challenge the Kiwi teams.

“The Kiwi teams are a different beast, they play a different brand of rugby to how we do things over here in Australia but we’ve done our analysis and we back the coaches plan," he added.

“I've had a taste of Rugby over there and they’ve got two arms and two legs like we do.

"It's not so much a matter of focusing on them but understanding that we've got the ability and talent here to face whatever they've got."


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This was shared by prop Tom Robertson, who suggested that the Chiefs' tough loss last week provides them with an edge in front of an expected big crowd a HBF Park.

“You always want to challenge yourself against the best and the Crusaders and Chiefs were the two best teams in the competition...The Chiefs are playing some great footy but we’ve had a good preparation," Robertson believes.

“Having a week off gives us an edge against a team that slogged it out against the Crusaders in a pretty hard match. We’re looking forward to it and we're ready.

“The times that I've won against the Chiefs, we've always been very physical and they're a big, physical team so we need to match them upfront. In terms of physicality, it's definitely a step up when you play the Chiefs, they've got some pretty big boys."

The Western Force will be looking to mark their return to International action with a win when they face Super Rugby Aotearoa finalists Chiefs at HBF Park. Click here to purchase tickets.

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