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Thread: Sharpe hopeful of finals berth

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    Sharpe hopeful of finals berth

    April 2, 2009 - 6:37PM

    Western Force skipper Nathan Sharpe remains hopeful his side can sneak into the Super 14 top four but admits a win over Queensland on Friday night is a must.
    The Force and Reds are both 10 points adrift of fourth spot, meaning the season will be effectively over for the team who loses the Subiaco Oval clash.

    "It's a desperation game for both teams and that's a focus for us," Sharpe said on Thursday.

    "It's an opportunity for us to climb back up the ladder.

    "At the moment, a lot of teams are knocking teams off that you might not expect each week, so that 10 points can be claimed back pretty quickly I think.

    "There might be a couple of teams that shoot away but certainly third and fourth spot are very attainable."

    Reds captain James Horwill fired the first barb on Wednesday when he stated his goal was to knock Wallabies lock partner Sharpe off his perch.

    But Sharpe said he was unfazed by the comments.

    "Certainly that's fine with me if he wants to take it on a personal level but I'd be pretty happy to win the game for my team," he said.

    Meanwhile, Western Force forwards Tom Hockings and Richard Stanford have re-signed with the club for a further two years.

    Hockings, 23, has played every match this season after featuring in 10 games last year.
    The 112kg lock from north Queensland represented Australia at junior level before bursting onto the Super 14 scene last season.

    Stanford, a 22-year-old 110kg flanker who can also play lock, joined the Force at the start of the season after two years with the Brumbies, where he earned six caps off the bench.

    "It's tremendous to see guys like that who have got huge futures in the game ... signing with the Force," Sharpe said.

    But the future of No.8 Richard Brown and backs James O'Connor and Drew Mitchell remain up in the air.

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