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Thread: Young rake to stare down hard All Black

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    Young rake to stare down hard All Black

    NICK TAYLOR, The West Australian
    April 25, 2011, 7:18 am

    Teenage hooker Siliva Siliva is in line for one of the toughest assignments in Super Rugby when the Western Force tackle the Crusaders on Saturday.

    The club's academy member has been called into the match day squad after starting rake Ben Whittaker was injured just 20 minutes into the gutsy 26-21 win over reigning champions the Bulls.

    Whittaker is expected to be missing for a fortnight after scans revealed damage to his AC joint.

    Siliva, 19, an Australian U-20 and Schoolboys representative, will come up against tough All Black Corey Flynn if he is called on.

    Force coach Richard Graham will bring Siliva into the squad rather than gamble with a return to last year's failed experiment of using prop Pek Cowan in the centre of the front row. Nathan Charles will start in the No.2 jumper

    The Force, buoyed by breaking this season's home hoodoo with the win over the Bulls on Saturday, should be bristling with self-belief as they prepare for the New Zealanders, who will be out to avenge last year's 24-16 loss at nib Stadium.

    They are likely to get another boost with Wallaby flankers David Pocock and Matt Hodgson, exciting winger David Smith and outside centre Mitch Inman all returning from injury and into contention.

    "A decision will be made on them when they train on Tuesday," Graham said. "It's a boost but it also adds a bit of freshness to training and a bit of freshness to the squad."

    The principal architects of the Force's victory over the Bulls were, to a man, their Wallabies.

    That is not to downplay the efforts of their teammates. Collectively they tackled harder, made fewer errors and conceded less penalties.

    But with captain Nathan Sharpe again leading from the front, Ben McCalman went on a mission to destroy defenders, James O'Connor darted through the smallest of holes and Richard Brown tackled anything that remotely resembled a Bulls jumper.

    In the past the Force may have dug a hole for themselves when confronted with a scoreline that was slipping away but they showed renewed confidence.

    They refused to be dragged into a slugfest by the bigger Bulls, who were forced into their old aerial style of attack as the Force hung on.

    Graham was quick to acknowledge both his side's collective effort and the input of his internationals.

    "The team was absolutely outstanding. You need your best players to play at their best each week. The Wallaby contingent were outstanding," he said.

    "Our defence was outstanding. The forwards in particular around the fringes, as their forwards came round the corner, were really physical in defence and we took them to ground very quickly."

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...ard-all-black/

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    Big ask for Spit! On the bright side, it's only Corey Flynn, there are hookers I'd be more worried about than him!

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    C'mon the

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    Interesting, The West call the Cowan experience a "Failed experiment".
    His profile refers to him "performing admirably" in the role.
    I believe it was probably somewhere between the two.
    What it does give is a back up to the back up if Spit does go on first and isn't up to it.
    I reckon he'll be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    there are hookers I'd be more worried about than him!
    What happens on tour, stays on tour

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    He'll want to spend the week working on his throwing. He had 3 or 4 not straights against the Perth Gold and their line-out wasn't anything to write home about. Not a lot of pressure there- definitely not Crusader line-out style pressure. He also had slippery hands around the park. Other than that he was pretty immense around the field for the Western Force A.

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