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Thread: Force coach David Wessels delivers classy message ahead of Rebels clash

  1. #1
    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    Feb 2008

    Force coach David Wessels delivers classy message ahead of Rebels clash

    THE Western Force might be just two games away from extinction.

    But their coach David Wessels says Friday night’s encounter against the Melbourne Rebels — the other Australian team fighting for survival — isn’t about proving a point to the ARU.

    “I certainly don’t think of the situation that we’re in as us versus the Rebels,” Wessels told

    “In a way I think of it as us and the Rebels versus everyone else.

    “In a lot of ways they’re in a similar boat to the one we’re in, and I know it hasn’t been an easy time for us and I’m sure the same is true for them.

    “So in a lot of ways I sympathise for their position.

    “I think we’re all in this because we ultimately love rugby and we enjoy what we do, so we want Friday night to just be a really good game of rugby.

    “We’re certainly not seeing it as an us versus them scenario.”

    It’s been more than three months since the ARU announced that they would cut either the Force or Rebels at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

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    But with both clubs threatening legal action, progress has ground to a halt as all three parties dig their heels in.

    While the ARU remains adamant that culling a team will provide long-term benefit for the game, Bill Pulver’s administration has come under widespread criticism for the way they’ve handled the sensitive matter.

    Despite the genuine prospect of not existing by month’s end, both the Force and Rebels have remained active during the June international window, signing a number of players.

    Players contracted to an axed team next season will have their deals honoured and be able to join one of the four remaining Australian sides.

    Wessels said the Force were not contemplating that just yet.

    “The senior people here have to stay on the ship as long as possible,” the first-year head coach said.

    “I think if I’m a young player and seeing some of the senior guys, who have now put their hand up and re-signed, all standing firm, I think that gives us real momentum.

    “We’re committed to a job here and we’ll stay on it until the very last second.

    “And any time you’re faced with a little bit of a crisis you’ve got to be able to walk away from that at the end of the day and be able to say: ‘well, I behaved in a way that I’m relatively proud of.’

    “You can’t, because you come under a little bit of pressure, start thinking that I’m going to act or do things that I’m later going to regret and to the players’ credit that’s exactly how they’ve behaved.

    “Every single one of our guys can actually say ‘times got a little bit tough, but I fronted it.’

    “That has showed a lot of character and everybody should be proud of that.”

    While the contracted players have a safety net, Wessels’ own situation is less assured.

    The head coaching role at the Rebels is open after Tony McGahan announced last month that he was stepping away at season’s end.

    But with no clear picture on which team will be cut, the Rebels are having to plan ahead even though Wessels may be the best candidate should the Force be cut.

    Wessels remains focused solely on his role at the Force.

    “I’m focused on this job and I’m going to fight hard to keep this job,” he said.

    “I love coaching this team and I want to be here for a long period of time.”

    The Force have used the international break honing their attacking plays and recovering from a taxing seven-week block of games.

    While the Brumbies have already secured the Australian conference, Wessels said the Force had plenty to play for in the final two rounds.

    They will be strengthened by the return of club captain and Wallabies back-rower Ben McCalman after an injury disrupted season, as well as exciting outside back Chance Peni.

    Also returning is playmaker Jono Lance, who re-signed earlier this week, while Angus Cottrell could be considered for next week’s match against the Waratahs after returning to club rugby.

    With 17 points, the Force are third-equal in the Australian conference with the Reds, despite winning one more match than their domestic rivals.

    Wessels said he was pleased with the progress of his young side and although admitting he would have liked to be higher on the standings, accepted that turning them into a genuine Super Rugby force would take time.

    “Probably the main thing for us is we’ve gone into every game with very clear intentions — what are things we’re trying to improve in this game — and some of the variation in our attack is the way we feel like we can grow the game or we can move our game forward this Friday night,” Wessels said.

    “That’s the key focus for us.

    “Winning is always nice, it’s the point of the game, but we recognise that we’re building something long-term and there has to be a phased approach to that.

    “And we feel like although we haven’t got all the results we wanted this year, our game’s moved forward.”

    The Rebels are last in the Australian conference after just one win against the Waratahs.

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  2. #2
    Champion andrewM's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    I think he said that nicely

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Always a class act great pleasure to have you as our senior coach

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  4. #4
    Senior Player
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    Jul 2012
    A class act! So hope we can see what you can do with our team next year!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    He has been very impressive from the minute he took over as coach.

    Both as a coach and a quality individual.

    Just the man to have leading the team into the future.

    .....and not to forget Mark Sinderberry who has done everything he possibly can to keep us alive....including selecting Wessells as coach against much negative opinion at the time.

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  6. #6
    Senior Player
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    May 2011
    This is a big match.

    If the force can pump the Rebels by 30 points plus it will really send a big message out.

    It shouldn't have an impact on the decision of which team to cut but you never know.

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  7. #7
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    The Bronze Star of Faith
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ43 View Post
    ....and not to forget Mark Sinderberry who has done everything he possibly can to keep us alive....including selecting Wessells as coach against much negative opinion at the time.
    And I'll put my hand up to say I was wrong with that criticism.

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    C'mon the

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