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Thread: Six changes made for historic battle with Fijian Drua

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    Six changes made for historic battle with Fijian Drua

    The Western Force has named six changes to the starting XV for the club’s first ever Super Rugby Pacific match against Fijian Drua on Saturday, March 19.

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    In the front row, props Harrison Lloyd and Greg Holmes make their first starts of the season. Wallaby Tom Robertson misses out due to an injury sustained against the NSW Waratahs in Round 4 and Argentina international Santiago Medrano moves to the bench.

    Club stalwart Brynard Stander starts at number eight, with Tim Anstee moving to the bench. Stander, who has will be making his 70th Super Rugby appearance for the Force this weekend, brings a plethora of experience and hardness at the breakdown.

    Ian Prior and Jake McIntyre were instrumental in the Force’s second half fightback last week and have been named to start and scrum-half and fly-half respectively. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and ReesjanPasitoa will be looking to make an impact off the bench on Saturday.

    Former All Black Richard Kahui moves back into the starting XV at outside centre alongside Bayley Kuenzle at inside centre.

    Speedster Byron Ralston also makes his first start of the campaign, with the winger named at 14. Ralston scored the match-sealing try in the Round 2 win over the Melbourne Rebels in his other appearance this season.

    Promising young prop Bo Abra is set to make his Western Force and Super Rugby debut against Drua. The former Junior Wallabies representative has been named on the bench for the Round 6 clash.

    Three homegrown WA players feature in the squad, with Ollie Callan maintaining his starting position at flanker, while fellow Force pathway graduates Jackson Pugh and Grason Makara are part of the match day 23.

    https://westernforce.rugby/news/six-...n-drua-2022315

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    Good to see some changes after a couple of disappointing weeks. Interesting that Ralston has been chosen over Pulu though, after announcing he's leaving us at the end of the season and Pulu looking quite good so far this year.
    Would've liked to see Pasitoa keep his starting spot with Prior inside him, as that combination looked good for the first couple of rounds and McIntyre is off at the end of the season also.
    Anyone know what the status is of Koteka? While Callan has been good, we've definitely been missing his presence the last couple of weeks.

    Pretty worried about this game after the comparative form of both teams in the last couple of weeks. Our defense and discipline will need to be much improved and we'll want to try and keep the game relatively slow and structured to stifle the Fijians.

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    Champion Tazzmania's Avatar
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    Changes due to the following:

    Sampson has made seven changes. Four are tactical, the other three injury enforced.

    Veteran scrum-half Ian Prior replaces livewire Issak Fines-Leleiwasa in a new halves combination with Jake McIntyre who gets his first start of the season ahead of Reesjan Pasitoa.

    Brynard Stander returns to the starting line-up in his favourite No.8 jumper and prop Greg Holmes gets his first start of the campaign.

    Front-rower Tom Robertson (calf) and backs Kyle Godwin and Toni Puku (both HIA) are out.

    They are replaced by Harry Lloyd in his first start of the year, former All Blacks centre Richard Kahui and winger Byron Ralston.""

    As per Nick Taylor in The West

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    The Force Onwards and Upwards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazzmania View Post
    Changes due to the following:
    Front-rower Tom Robertson (calf) and backs Kyle Godwin and Toni Pulu (both HIA) are out.
    Ah OK, that explains Ralston over Pulu. Was somewhat hoping Godwin had been dropped to put a rocket up him and to send a message that his starting position shouldn't be taken for granted.

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    they need to pull their fingers out,this week!

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    Champion Contributor todd4's Avatar
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    Thoughts from an armchair expert:

    I'd like us to keep ball in hand as much as possible for this game. If they don't have the ball they can't score tries.Their attack from broken play can be punishing but their defense can be a lttle suspect at times. Let's stop doing the box kicks that make around 10 meters and give the ball to the Fijians. If we need to exit our territory give it to someone with a big boot and hoof it down field hopefully into touch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiraag View Post
    Ah OK, that explains Ralston over Pulu. Was somewhat hoping Godwin had been dropped to put a rocket up him and to send a message that his starting position shouldn't be taken for granted.
    agree on that. Would have liked to have seen Daniel Ala on the wing though if available

    Hopefully Makara gets more of an opportunity this week off the bench

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    Quote Originally Posted by todd4 View Post
    Thoughts from an armchair expert:

    I'd like us to keep ball in hand as much as possible for this game. If they don't have the ball they can't score tries.Their attack from broken play can be punishing but their defense can be a lttle suspect at times. Let's stop doing the box kicks that make around 10 meters and give the ball to the Fijians. If we need to exit our territory give it to someone with a big boot and hoof it down field hopefully into touch.
    Makes sense. You'd think picking McIntyre signals intent to run at them not kick.

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd4 View Post
    Thoughts from an armchair expert:

    I'd like us to keep ball in hand as much as possible for this game. If they don't have the ball they can't score tries.Their attack from broken play can be punishing but their defense can be a lttle suspect at times. Let's stop doing the box kicks that make around 10 meters and give the ball to the Fijians. If we need to exit our territory give it to someone with a big boot and hoof it down field hopefully into touch.
    Fiji's ability to run circles around us in broken play is a scary proposition. Giving them free, easy ball with space to run it back needs to be something that doesn't happen at all come Saturday.

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    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    they need to pull their fingers out,this week!
    Their whole fist I think!

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    Could be a banana skin game this.

    Need a good start, but Berry not doing us any favours.

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    WTF

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    No way that was a penalty

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    the TMo not helping either

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