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Foley pleased with Force's performance despite loss

Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley

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Article Published: Friday 15 February 2013






Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley says that even though they lost their opening match 30-23 to the Rebels it was a positive start and they can build on the performance.

Both teams scored three tries each but the Melbourne Rebels capitalised on the Force's mstakes and James O'Connor slotted three penalties and converted all three Rebels tries.

"Our ball usage was good tonight," Foley said after the match.

"To come away with three tries was excellent and there was some very good backline play at times.

"In the first 20 minutes we controlled the game and had the play in right part of the field and were building phases and accumulating pressure. We just let the pressure off with turnovers and that brought the Rebels back into the game.

"The past 16 to 18 weeks for us has been particularly gruelling and the players have come through it tighter than they did before; I'm very proud of them on that front.

"It's really important for this team, out of the season they had last year, not to look for any shortcuts or any easy answers. For us, we have to work very, very hard to not only play the sort of rugby we want to play but become the team we want to become."

Rebels coach Damien Hill said that while he wasn't pleased by the slow start, he never lost faith that the Rebels would win the game.

"In the first twenty minutes, we chose not to treasure possession and gave away opportunities," Hill said.

"Our discipline started to go, and fatigue began to set in.

"In the second half, while we weren't as clinical as we would have liked, it was definitely better and we were able to put points on the board."

Hill was also delighted with some of the players who were able to complete the full 80 minutes.

"For Laurie Weeks and James O'Connor, that was their first 80 minutes in a long time; for James, in eight months, which is a tremendous effort that shouldn't go unnoticed.

"Kurtley Beale played 43 weeks of rugby straight last year, but that was his first 80 of the year and he managed to get through really well."

The Western Force will now fly to Port Elizabeth South Africa where they will face Super Rugby's newcomers the Southern Kings while the Rebels host the Brumbies in Melbourne next week.

 
 
 
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