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Force bracing for Brumbies backlash

Saturday, March 01, 2014

PERTH - With the Brumbies gunning for revenge, Western Force five-eighth Zack Holmes is warning his team to prepare for a brutal physical encounter in tonight's Super Rugby clash in Perth.

The Brumbies' hopes of securing a top-two berth last year were crushed in the final round when they suffered a shock 21-15 loss to the lowly Force in Perth.

That result meant the Brumbies had to fly to South Africa for their semi-final, with the heavy travel load leaving them tired and weary by the time they took on the Chiefs in the decider in Hamilton.

The Brumbies lost that match 27-22, and their bid to go one step further this season got off to a shaky start when they lost to the Reds 27-17 last week.

Holmes, who spent two seasons with the Brumbies before moving to Perth during the summer, said last year's loss to the Force would still rankle his former side.

"The boys were pretty hurt at losing to the Force," he said.

"They had high expectations of being in the top two. Losing to the Force meant they didn't finish in the top two, so they're going to come back looking for revenge."

The Force have plenty to work on themselves after leaking six tries in their 43-21 defeat to the NSW Waratahs last week.

Today's match will pit Brumbies flanker David Pocock up against the Force for the first time since he left the Perth-based franchise at the end of 2012.

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