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Thread: Western Force vs Highlanders - Match Thread

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Western Force vs Highlanders - Match Thread

    Friday game this week - Highlanders will be just as tough as the Chiefs

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    And the Force will fight for the full 80 again.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Friday game this week - Highlanders will be just as tough as the Chiefs
    Agreed, I also thing the Highlanders might be more well rounded than the Chiefs. It was clear that our solid defense frustrated the Chiefs into errors, I'm not sure that will be the case against the clan.

    On the bright side, I reckon the Chiefs are the most lethal of the NZ sides in attack, particularly from unstructured play and we seemed to handle that OK, keeping them to 20. I reckon we can keep all of them to low scores (maybe even the Saders) the big question is, can we score enough to beat any of them.

    My hopes are highest for the Blues, but that is in Auckland, so they might very well grow another leg.

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    C'mon the

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Force lock Thrush vows to annoy Kiwis

    Wed, 19/05/2021, 11:41 am
    by Justin Chadwick - AAP


    Western Force veteran Jeremy Thrush says he loves getting in the face of his fellow Kiwis and he wants to do it again in Friday's clash with the Highlanders.

    Western Force lock Jeremy Thrush has vowed to "piss a few people off" during the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition, and he's keen to roll around again next year too.

    The former All Blacks forward has been a key figure at the Force since joining them in 2018, with his leadership and competitive spirit helping drive the squad to greater heights.

    The Force broke through for their maiden finals appearance in Super Rugby AU this year and the Perth-based franchise almost toppled the Chiefs last week in a 20-19 loss.

    Only a missed conversion attempt from Domingo Miotti after the final siren denied the Force victory against the Chiefs, and they will be aiming to put in another strong display when they host the Highlanders on Friday night.

    Thrush, who made more than 100 appearances for the Hurricanes, said he was loving taking on New Zealand sides again.

    "Last week I did find it pretty fun to try to ruffle a few feathers of Kiwi boys back home," Thrush said.

    "All I've got left in me really now is to be a bit niggly and piss a few people off.

    "I'm going to try to do a bit more of that on the weekend.

    "I found it all pretty enjoyable (taking on the Chiefs).

    "That's when I play my best rugby when I'm enjoying it, and trying to take away the pressure of the games."

    Thrush turned 36 last month but he doesn't want to retire just yet.

    "I'll try to hold on for a little bit longer to the career. I'd like to have another go," Thrush said.

    "I feel like once I don't contribute enough on the field then I'll look to maybe hang up the boots.

    "The body is sometimes not willing but the mind is still willing to play... I still enjoy playing the game, there's still that hunger there, and I'm still smiling out there and enjoying it.

    "If I'm still doing that, I still want to be playing for another season or two."

    Former Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani will return for the Force after serving his three-week suspension for a dangerous tip tackle.

    The Highlanders are set to welcome back All Blacks back-rower Shannon Frizell, who was left out of last week's 40-19 win over the Queensland Reds due to an alleged incident at a Dunedin bar.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/super-...-kiwis-2021519

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    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...-to-face-force

    Two big ins for the Clan with Frizzell and Ioane. Going to be another very tough proposition.

    Highlanders: Sam Gilbert, Sio Tomkinson, Michael Collins, Scott Gregory, Jona Nareki, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith (cc), Hugh Renton, Billy Harmon, Shannon Frizell, Bryn Evans, Pari Pari Parkinson, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (cc), Ayden Johnstone

    Reserves: Liam Coltman, Ethan de Groot, Josh Hohneck, Josh Dickson, Kazuki Himeno, Kayne Hammington, Josh Ioane, Ngantungane Punivai

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    Team's out - like it!

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    Player chiraag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Transiting View Post
    Team's out - like it!
    Likewise - that's the forwards combo in the locks and backrow I've wanted to see for a while with Timani, FLW, Koteka and Anstee all starting. I think with a bit of work, Anstee could be a Sotutu / Read type (obviously has a way to go before he's anywhere near that level) of 8 given his athleticism and height.
    Hopefully our scrum holds up better than it did at the start of the last game before Holmes came on. Think it might be worth having Holmes starting against their best props.

    Also good to see Kuridrani hasn't walked back into the side after his costly ill discipline and strong performances from Taefu, Godwin and Kahui.
    Anyone know what's happened to Ralston?

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    No Stander?

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .X. View Post
    No Stander?
    Suspect his workload is being managed he gives 110% week in week out and probably needs a small break, however I am sure he will have a huge impact from the bench with a shorter game time this week

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    The Force Onwards and Upwards

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    Suspect his workload is being managed he gives 110% week in week out and probably needs a small break, however I am sure he will have a huge impact from the bench with a shorter game time this week
    That makes perfect sense.

    Thanks Tazz

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    Stander comin off the bench, as he has done a couple times this year. Cant remember where I read/saw it but they spoke about the bench being the "bomb squad". To be honest 1 thing I have really enjoyed this year is havin a Force that plays the 80 minutes (especially 75 to 80min). So many memories of not being able to close out a game, I welcome the ideology of the bomb squad and who better than Stander to lead

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    My apologies. Only once this year has Stander come off the bench. I'm a big fan of his and crossed my thinking of when he started as captained to when not...

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Speaking of workload management; I can't recall Kane Koteka getting an early mark all season?? He seems to have improved out of sight these past two years. He's right in the MOM conversation every match and has taken over from Stander as my fave Force player. Thrush and Stander are only a bee's behind. At 36 Thrushy looks too be eager to play as well as ever, it's obvious how much he's enjoying every game he gets.

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