Super Rugby
Complacent Western Force need to start again
February 28, 2015
The Hurricanes down the Force 42-13 in Perth (Australia only)
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Western Force coach Michael Foley admits his team's round-one win over the Waratahs may have lulled his players into a dangerous sense of complacency.

The Force are searching for answers following their insipid 42-13 Super Rugby loss to the Hurricanes in Perth on Friday night. Six days earlier in Brisbane, the Force were beaten 18-6 by the Reds.

The five-tries-to-one loss to the Hurricanes was particularly hard to swallow, with the Force's trademark grit and fighting spirit nowhere to be seen. In the first half alone, the Force missed 23 tackles - a stat in stark contrast to the defensive grit they displayed last year. Foley admits his team have been off the boil over the past fortnight, but he's backing them to rediscover their hard edge in next week's clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

"One performance can be easily over celebrated, and another one can be overly catastrophised," Foley said. "I think maybe we over celebrated the Waratahs performance. Maybe we're not being hard on ourselves at the moment. Perhaps the Waratahs game allowed people to back off a little bit and not chase hard.

"Whatever the reason is, we will be hard on ourselves. I think these guys will respond. It's taken some time to build a reputation as a group of fighters, and I think they are a group of fighters. When we look back at that game, it's going to hurt a lot."

Ben McCalman was a rare shining light for the Force against the Hurricanes © Getty Images

Flanker Angus Cottrell has been added to the team's growing injury ward after he sprained his ankle against the Hurricanes. But winger Nick Cummins and flanker Chris Alcock will return against the Brumbies.

Force forward Ben McCalman has been a rare shining light over the past fortnight. The bustling No.8 said Force players were keen to put the past fortnight behind them.

"It comes back to the players' responsibility I feel. It's up to us to have a physical attitude the whole game," McCalman said. "I'm sure the boys are looking forward to ripping in and playing hard (against the Brumbies)."

The Hurricanes sit on top of the table following away wins against the Lions, Bulls, and Force. But coach Chris Boyd said it was far too early to start talking up his team's title chances.


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