Fiji Time: 8:44 AM on Wednesday 10 February

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Force aim to bust open Highlanders

AAP
Saturday, March 15, 2014

Update: 8:36AM AFTER obliterating Melbourne's defensive structures last week, the Western Force will be aiming to inflict more tackle-breaking damage in tonight's Super Rugby clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The Force scored four tries inside the opening 27 minutes in the 32-7 win over the Rebels, with the dominant performance giving the Perth-based franchise a crucial confidence boost.

The Highlanders have been solid in their opening two games, posting a 29-21 win over the Blues before being pipped by the mighty Chiefs 21-19 a fortnight ago.

A week off has left them fresh and raring to go heading into their home clash with the Force.

But their league-high average of 22.5 missed tackles per game is a worry, with halfback Aaron Smith committing seven of those across two games.

Force coach Michael Foley has identified several vulnerable areas in the Highlanders' defence, but says his team need to be good enough to expose them.

"There are a couple of players who have missed tackles for them. The job for us is to get good enough quality ball," Foley said on Friday.

"One of the important things is we keep the ball moving up the field.

"Sometimes stats can tell lies. You have to look at why they've missed tackles. Sometimes they've missed tackles while they're covering someone else who has missed tackles.

"But there are a couple of targets, as there are in any other team."

Another stat favouring the Force is their five-game winning streak against the Highlanders.

However, Foley remains wary of Jamie Joseph's hard-nosed side, which is renowned for its tough work at the breakdown but also boasts good quality out wide.

Fullback Ben Smith looms as one of the Force's biggest threats.

"Ben is an excellent broken field runner," Foley said of the star All Black.

"There are times in the game where you've got to kick. If you don't chase your kicks well and you don't defend well, you will get punished."

The Force have named an unchanged line-up, with lock Hugh McMeniman not needed after Adam Coleman's impressive performance off the bench last week.

McMeniman, who missed the Rebels clash due to a neck injury, is likely to return for next week's showdown against the Chiefs.








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65570.6367
JPY 55.161052.1610
GBP 0.32590.3179
EUR 0.42090.4089
NZD 0.71710.6841
AUD 0.66690.6419
USD 0.47340.4564

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 9th February 2016

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. 3 MPs are out
  2. Out with traditional attire
  3. Fostering a free media
  4. Natuva: Russian arms worth $19m
  5. FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
  6. Mend differences, minister tells FTUC, FICTU
  7. Police charge farmer over drug cultivation
  8. $59k wage arrears
  9. LPG station boosts confidence in economy
  10. Fishing licences on hold

Top Stories this Week

  1. Angry 7s fan smashes TV screen Tuesday (09 Feb)
  2. Sevens changes Friday (05 Feb)
  3. Fiji picks up the pieces Thursday (04 Feb)
  4. Need speed Monday (08 Feb)
  5. No tattoo on rape suspect Thursday (04 Feb)
  6. NZ 7s final refereeing charade an embarrassment Monday (08 Feb)
  7. Ryan: Sunshine ahead Tuesday (09 Feb)
  8. Legal row Friday (05 Feb)
  9. Investigation as nurse falls with baby Tuesday (09 Feb)
  10. The origin of Fiji's sevens series Monday (08 Feb)