Log in

Force aim to run and stun Reds in Perth

The Melbourne Rebels hosted the Western Force at AAMI Park.

Western Force coach Tim Sampson is banking on youth to run the Queensland Reds ragged in Friday night's Super Rugby Pacific clash in Perth.

The Reds are unbeaten after two rounds, but both games were played in wet and heavy conditions.

Catch every game of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

The Force hope those water-logged pitches will leave the Reds vulnerable in Friday's clash, with Sampson handing speedy scrumhalf Issak Fines-Leleiwasa a start in a bid to up the ante.

Fines-Leleiwasa, who replaces veteran Ian Prior in the starting side, will team up with 20-year-old playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa in an exciting 9-10 combination that has the potential to dazzle.

Pasitoa starred in the 29-23 loss to the Brumbies and the 28-3 win over the Rebels, while Fines-Leleiwasa impressed off the bench in both of those matches.

"I think it's exciting that they both can light up a game pretty easily and quickly," Sampson said of the former Brumbies teammates. 

"They're pretty cool, calm, collected players. I think they're looking forward to playing with each other.

"We want to start pretty fast, and Issak brings that. He's very dynamic around the fringes of the breakdown.

"They (Queensland) have played a couple of games on a heavy deck, and travelling over here we want to try to start fast and wear them down in the first half to set up the game for the second half."


LAUNCH: Super W Season Launch

CO-CAPTAINS: Hayes, Caslick to lead Sevens

RE-SIGN: Rodda chooses jersey over money

Utility back Bayley Kuenzle will miss a second straight game after copping a knock to the head in the season opener.

Sampson said he was playing it safe with Kuenzle, given he has now suffered two head knocks in a short space of time.

The Force secured a maiden Super Rugby AU finals berth last year when they beat the Reds 30-27 in Perth.

The Reds have plenty of motivation to turn the tables in Friday's rematch given the devastating floods that have hit Queensland.

"I'm sure they'll want to play for their state," Sampson said. 

"They're going through a fair bit. They're a spirited side. Queensland rugby has a proud history. 

"They've proven they succeed when their backs are against the wall. I go back to the 2011 floods - the Reds won the Championship that year."

All Blacks wait on injuries to Jordie, Beauden Barrett
Cooper speaks after serious injury
Emotional Wallabies reflect after tough Argentina victory
All Blacks took 'step up', says coach Foster after Springboks loss
Rugby.com.au Logo

The Rugby.com.au are a proud part of Rugby AU

© 2021 Australian Rugby. All rights reserved.