Western Force coach John Mitchell believes the reward will come for his hard-working team if they can keep up what they showed against the Bulls on Saturday night.
The Force remain on the bottom of the Super 14 table with just one bonus point from six matches this season, but the last two weeks against the Waratahs and Bulls have been a step in the right direction.

The Force shocked the Bulls at ME Bank Stadium to open up a 15-10 lead nine minutes into the second half and put the undefeated defending champions under the pump until they steadied with an 18-point run to end the match.

Mitchell felt it was an even better performance from his team than in the four-point loss the previous week to the Waratahs.

"It was a step up on last week. We probably could have been a little more accurate in the first half, but we proved before half-time that if we just kept the ball and sustained pressure that we would get some benefit out of that," Mitchell said.

"I know this group fought extremely hard and we've now used 36 players in seven rounds and had some 18-year-olds on the bench. While it's tough, there's some really positive signs that we can use going forward into the next match."

Ben Whittaker became the third hooker to start for the Force this season and he was impressive as the WA team didn't lose a lineout against the Victor Matfield-led Bulls.

Chris O'Young was terrific at halfback in his 50th Super Rugby match in the absence of Brett Sheehan and wingers Scott Staniforth and Nick Cummins made some good gains. Veteran Staniforth shook off a hip injury to play and now has another four-week deal to remain in action for the Force.

"We've got him for another four weeks. He's getting better with each game he plays, Nick Cummins looked sharper again, Chris O'Young brought good tempo to our game and I do feel for our loose forwards and Sharpey who are carrying a massive load in the competition," Mitchell said.

"To contain a guy like Pierre Spies is huge, and he was hugely dominant as the match wore on. Ben Whittaker was good and the scrum is also going good."

Mitchell was so impressed with how his game plan worked against the Bulls that he feels other teams could use it against them to try to topple them this season. Not only that, but he knows his young players will gain plenty from the performance.

"Some of the other teams might look at it as a little bit of a template as to the way to play against them and how to stop them," he said.

"Clearly if you keep ball you can put them under pressure, and they have been the benchmark of the competition, so a lot of our young guys would have learned a lot of lessons from that experience. And not only lessons, but certainly confidence that they competed with such big physical men."

The Force peppered the try line against the Bulls and went agonisingly close to breaking through for a try, and Mitchell knows that if his team keeps building pressure with control of possession that the rewards will come.

"We would like a bit of reward to get across the line, but that will come. Everyone is working hard towards that and we just have to make sure that we execute the detail. We were probably a little bit untidy on the first phase attack more than we should be," Mitchell said.

"We need to be over the advantage line early and when we do we look good. We are rugby men and we want to win, that's what we are all about. We don’t deny that and we will just keep working hard."