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Force looking to end season on Crusaders upset

The Western Force want to spoil the Crusaders party

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Article Published: Sunday 8 July 2012|

The Western Force have set their sights on an upset against the seven time champion Crusaders as it will be a "nice way to go into their off-season".

The Western Force are out of contention for the Super Rugby play offs but they know that the Crusaders need every point they can get and an upset will put a major dent in their season.

Stand in Western Force coach Phil Blake says that he wants his players to end the season on a high note as they have been through a tough season which has seen a raft of injuries and the loss of their coach Richard Graham.

After just three wins from 15 Super Rugby matches the Force have little to look back on from this season but if they can finish with a victory over the Crusaders they will have something to smile about.

The Crusaders are currently in fourth place on 56 points but if they lose to the Force any one of the Bulls (54 points), Sharks (54), Reds (53) and Hurricanes (53) could overtake them with a victory of their own.

A Force victory over the Crusaders would also help the Reds as they are favourites against the Waratahs but they need one of either the Crusaders, Bulls or Sharks to lose their matches in order to over take the Crusaders.

Coach Blake said that the Force who are in 14th place are intent on causing one of the upsets of the season by beating the Crusaders.

"We're playing the best province in the southern hemisphere on their home ground," Blake said.

"If we can grab a win and disrupt their season, it will certainly be a nice way to go into our off-season."

Meanwhile the Force are hoping that former captain Nathan Sharpe can regain fitness in time for the regular season finale after his back locked up hours before their match against the Blues on Saturday.

Thirty-four-year-old Sharpe will retire at the end of the Rugby Championship but was left bed-ridden by the incident and is desperate to play one final match for the Force.

"That's going to be a hard task," Blake told NZN.

"We're hopeful we can get him to the line, but we won't know until later in the week."

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