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Thread: MATHEWSON JOINS ‘100 CLUB’ IN SEASON OPENER

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    MATHEWSON JOINS ‘100 CLUB’ IN SEASON OPENER

    Scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will play his 100th Asteron Life Super Rugby fixture on Sunday (23 February), when the Western Force lines up for its opening match of the season against the NSW Waratahs in Sydney.

    Mathewson, now in his eighth season of Asteron Life Super Rugby, returns for his second with the Western Force having previously represented the Wellington Hurricanes (36 matches) and Auckland Blues (47).

    The four-time All Black is set to reach his milestone playing inside Sias Ebersohn, who is also embarking on his second season with the club, and Perth-born flyhalf Zack Holmes, who returns home after two seasons with the Brumbies. Scrumhalf Ian Prior will also join his former Brumbies teammate in the Force line-up.

    The Western Australian backline will also feature former Queensland Red Luke Morahan at fullback, forming a back three with Wallaby winger Nick Cummins and either former Western Province outside back Marcel Brache or Patrick Dellit.

    Kyle Godwin and Junior Rasolea will renew their centre pairing after having teamed up in the Force midfield on two occasions in 2013.

    In the Force forward pack, Wallabies forward Hugh McMeniman is set to make his return from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the second half of 2013. McMeniman, who played 40 minutes against Samoa A in last weekend’s Force A trial match, will form a second row combination with Sam Wykes and former Bulls and Emerging Springbok lock Wilhelm Steenkamp, who will pack down for his first Asteron Life Super Rugby match with the Force.

    Captain Matt Hodgson will lead his side on for his 98th match for the club and is set to be joined in the back row by flankers Chris Alcock and Angus Cottrell. Wallaby back-rower Ben McCalman and new recruit Brynard Stander will look to continue on from their impressive pre-season form from the back of the Western Force scrum.

    Nathan Charles will mark his tournament return from a knee injury suffered against the Cheetahs in Week Six of the 2013 competition. The 25-year-old rake will cover the hooking role with Heath Tessmann, and pack down alongside powerful prop pairing of Pek Cowan and Tetera Faulkner at loosehead, while local Australian Under 20 prop Ollie Hoskins is set to make his Asteron Life Super Rugby debut at tighthead, along with fellow WA product, Kieran Longbottom.

    Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says his team is looking forward to the challenge presented by the season ahead.

    “We’re very excited to begin our Super Rugby campaign” he said. “While it was pleasing to keep our line in tact through both trial matches, as well as scoring tries from different sources of possession, it is important we step up again this week against the Waratahs.

    “One hundred matches is a fantastic milestone for Alby, who has been an outstanding competitor in this tournament over the past eight years and is growing as a leader within our squad. Knowing the respect that Alby commands within the squad, I’m sure the boys will be determined to ensure it’s a memorable occasion for him and the team.”

    The Western Force will be streaming Sunday’s match live onto the big screen at the Northbridge Piazza, with all the club’s members and supporters invited to attend this family-friendly event. Entry is free. Click here for more details on the event.

    2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby – Week Two
    NSW Waratahs v Western Force
    Allianz Stadium, Sydney
    Sunday, 23 February 2014
    Kick-off: 4.05pm (local)/1.05pm (AWST)

    1. Pek Cowan/Tetera Faulkner
    2. Nathan Charles/Heath Tessmann
    3. Ollie Hoskins/Kieran Longbottom
    4. Sam Wykes
    5. Hugh McMeniman/Wilhelm Steenkamp
    6. Chris Alcock/Angus Cottrell
    7. Matt Hodgson (c)
    8. Ben McCalman/Brynard Stander
    9. Alby Mathewson/Ian Prior
    10. Sias Ebersohn/Zack Holmes
    11. Nick Cummins
    12. Kyle Godwin
    13. Junior Rasolea
    14. Marcel Brache/Patrick Dellit
    15. Luke Morahan

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    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

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    Champion GAFFA's Avatar
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    Whats with the format of the team? is the first player starting the the second on the bench is so im not happy with sias at 10 over holmes.

    Big Ollie wow didnt see that coming well done to the young lad he was killing it in the trials.

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Champion oxleymoron's Avatar
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    Travel group of 24 - I would expect that Alcock might be the one to miss out on a bench spot with a 5/3 split and Sias if we go for 6/2 (with Prior covering 10).

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAFFA View Post
    Whats with the format of the team? is the first player starting the the second on the bench is so im not happy with sias at 10 over holmes.

    Big Ollie wow didnt see that coming well done to the young lad he was killing it in the trials.
    24 in list, to be reduced to 23 for game day. Keeping his cards close to his chest as he likes to do

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    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

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    Champion GAFFA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    24 in list, to be reduced to 23 for game day. Keeping his cards close to his chest as he likes to do
    I think it is stupid to be honest last year we had the crap where the team was named the day before an now we get things like this enough with the silly games.

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Forwards ---
    Chris Heiberg for the rough and tough up front but then its hard to replace the workforce we've got and the success against the Re-Tarhds in Sydney.

    Please have Sam Wykes on the bench with a 20 minute spurt at the end, he can't play a half let alone a full game.

    Backs ---

    As I agree with the other comments from my TWF Family, I dont like the idea of Sias on the run on team, no variety and doesn't attack the line, unless there is a tactic around this with the attacking pro-ess of the Re-tarhds. I would of liked to see a backline with the likes of

    9. Alby Mathewson/Ian Prior
    10. Zack Holmes
    11. Nick Cummins
    12. Kyle Godwin
    13. Hayward / Morahan
    14. Marcel Brache/Patrick Dellit
    15. Luke Morahan / DHP.

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Awesome that Ollie's in there for his first of many games for the Force. Looking forward to HB, McCalman, Godwin and MMM running at the 12 channel with vigour to see if it bends.

    Didn't see Hayward missing out, thought that Brache would be the one to miss out hopefully he proves me wrong. that is if he gets the nod will be interesting to see the bench split as you say TIF

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Just read through Cheese's write up and not sure if he gave something away in the fact he said "Brynard Stander is another one of his countrymen joining the Force this year. Brynard only has two gears: 110% and above. I am just glad he is on my team, I can’t wait to see him out there on Sunday."

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    Rookie UnionThug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benny View Post
    I dont like the idea of Sias on the run on team
    If he is in the run-on it may be for his goal kicking. No Hayward and unfortunately Zack didnt exactly set the world on fire with his conversion attempts in rather benign conditions in the warm up last week.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnionThug View Post
    If he is in the run-on it may be for his goal kicking. No Hayward and unfortunately Zack didnt exactly set the world on fire with his conversion attempts in rather benign conditions in the warm up last week.
    but Kyle and Mozza are both goal kickers aren't they?

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by UnionThug View Post
    If he is in the run-on it may be for his goal kicking. No Hayward and unfortunately Zack didnt exactly set the world on fire with his conversion attempts in rather benign conditions in the warm up last week.
    but Kyle and Mozza are both goal kickers aren't they?

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    but Kyle and Mozza are both goal kickers aren't they?
    Kyle is yes but he'd want to have improved significantly from last year... Morahan doesnt appear to be, at least he's never successfully put any over for points going by his super stats.

    The prefered kickers over the 3 trials were Sias (7c), Zack (5c), Jayden (2c) and Luke Burton (2c).

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    but Kyle and Mozza are both goal kickers aren't they?
    Kyle is yes but he'd want to have improved significantly from last year... Morahan doesnt appear to be, at least he's never successfully put any over for points going by his super stats.

    The prefered kickers over the 3 trials were Sias (7c), Zack (5c), Jayden (2c) and Luke Burton (2c).

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    I thought Brache did OK last week. Defended well (such as defense was - the Argies did attack) and most of our attack went for the other wing (HB) but he didn't do anything to make me think he wasn't up to it.

    Still a bit surprised neither Heywood nor DHP are in that 24 in the OP - both should go hard against the Reds A to remind the Force management they're around.

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