BeeJay Rucking foot (no spoonerisms please)
Join Date: Feb 2007
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The comp will always be decided on depth, injuries - and luck - so we may as well be tested in game 1.
I have a good feeling about this one. If our pack dominates (as we should) and we hold possession, we'll win with some comfort.
Carn the FORCE!!
DinkyDi is Coaching again?
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Over Seas
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With Alfi running from 15 and injecting himself in the backline it should give Napi some space to run amok. I just hope that the ball gets that far otherwise its back to one up rugby with the pack.. a game we can win if we can hold on to the ball.
'Rugby and sex are the only things you can enjoy without being good at them.' -anonymous
Stone Cold is hip to your jive
How is it that the force always go into the first weeks with several injuries? It seems that we don't get all of our guys together until the second half of the season.
coz Stone Cold says so
travelling_gerry - Wine , is WIN with e on the end.
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Forwards to overshadow backs in Force-Brumbies opener
BY: WAYNE SMITH From: The Australian February 23, 2012 12:00AM
Nathan Sharpe will take the field for Western Force's Super Rugby opener against the Brumbies after overcoming a calf problem Picture: Richard Polden Source: PerthNow
WESTERN Force coach Richard Graham expects the forwards contest to be doubly important in tomorrow night's Super Rugby season opener against the Brumbies in Canberra, with both teams fielding inexperienced backlines.
The return from a calf injury of Test lock Nathan Sharpe, playing his first match for the Force as a foot soldier after handing over his field marshal's baton to David Pocock, considerably strengthens a WA pack already boasting an all-Wallabies backrow and two Test props in Pek Cowan and Salesi Ma'afu.
The Brumbies, too, have concentrated their most seasoned players in their pack.
Dan Palmer, arguably the best scrummaging tighthead in the country, will pack down beside Test regulars Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander in the front row, while former Wallabies utility Peter Kimlin, dogged by injury for the past three seasons, begins his campaign at blindside flanker in company with newly installed captain, number eight Ben Mowen.
But while the battle up front will be between two formidable packs, there are question marks over both sets of backs.
Two members of the Force backline will be making their debuts for the franchise: outside centre Winston Stanley and marquee winger Napolini Nalaga, although the Fijian international is hardly a rookie, having dominated the French Top 14 with Clermont.
Certainly there should be plenty of fireworks out wide, with the Brumbies countering that Fijian threat with a Fijian flyer of their own, Henry Speight, one of the few ACT players to spark any real excitement last season.
The Brumbies also will run their debutant back on the left wing, with Jesse Mogg at last given his chance after two seasons in Canberra as a member of the Brumbies Academy. When the sides last met in Canberra, in round nine last year, Sharpe's outstanding lineout jumping made the difference in a game in which rival playmakers Matt Giteau (Brumbies) and James O'Connor -- one now with Toulon, the other with the Rebels -- effectively cancelled each other out.
"It's obviously great to have Sharpey back again, particularly when you recall how well he performed last time we were in Canberra," said Graham, referring to his side's hard-fought 27-19 win.
Partnering Sharpe in the absence of Sam Wykes, who was unable to shake the hamstring injury that has dogged him, will be Toby Lynn, capped 32 times for the Chiefs but Australia-eligible thanks to a grandfather born in Perth.
Curiously, the Brumbies will counter Lynn with another Kiwi "debutant" of their own, Bay of Plenty secondrower Leon Power who has no need to invoke any grandfather clauses in order to play for Australia as he was born in this country and only moved to New Zealand at the age of six.
And, as Wallabies coach Robbie Deans remarked this week, any secondrower with any height who shows some form in the early rounds of Super Rugby will excite the selectors' attention as Sharpe is planning not to continue in rugby beyond this season and Dan Vickerman remains very much a doubtful starter for the Waratahs because of a chronic leg problem.
Whatever else Power has, he certainly has size, all two metres of it.
The match already is being widely dismissed as a contest between two teams destined to prop up the competition ladder, but both coaches are adamant their sides can prove the critics wrong. "We're being written off before a ball has been kicked in 2012," Graham said. "We're very confident in the group we've selected."
Similarly, Brumbies boss Jake White was quick to put the critics back in their place.
"At the end of the day, it's not what they decide," White said.
"We might surprise a lot of teams with the way we play on Friday night."
WF2404 has no status.
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Looking forward to a great game! Has anyone flown across for the match? Hopefully there will be a few blue jerseys in the crowd. I’ll be shouting at the ref as loud as possible! Go Force!!
The InnFORCEr thinks Lest We Forget
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: West Leederville
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Superbarmaid and Cedric Clearwater are there
The Wallabies - Still the only team to score tries and win away from home in both, yes both its World Cup victories!
I vote - and I want a proper rectangular stadium in Perth!
James is serving up a tsunami of swagger.
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I have concerns over our kicking. Stannard's kicking game isn't his long suit and it is pretty clear Jake White will have his players kicking for territory. Not many of our other backs can take the pressure off by offering a kicking option. I hope Sharpie plays a blinder in the line-outs. The Brumbies may be average but they do have four jumpers.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
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