The Force can never quite get over their injury problems. Last week they lost David Pocock who is now arguably their best player. They have also lost Rory Sidey to suspension for that tackle on Odwa Ndungane.
The Force have not won a match this season although they have only played two matches. They started the season with a close shave loss to the Reds and then had a bye.
Last week they lost Sidey to a Red card and for a while they put up a respectable fight but couldn’t sustain it and succumbed to the Sharks. In their two matches the Force have shown that they will be able to trouble some of the bigger teams but they need everyone fit to do it constantly.
The Blues on the other hand have played three and won two. They beat the Crusaders in round one and then lost to the Sharks in Round two.
While their win over the Crusaders in the first round was a surprise the bigger eye opener was last weekend when Pat Lam rested most of his stars by naming them on the bench against the Lions. This turned out to be masterstroke as the Blues won with a bonus point.
The Force and the Blues have played each other five times and the Blues have won four of those clashes.
Worryingly for the Force fans the Blues have never lost in Perth and without Pocock around Daniel Braid and his team mates should win lots of ball for the Aucklanders.
On average the Force score 15 points per match against the Blues while the Blues on average score 30 points. In Perth the Force have only scored 13 points and the Blues score 29 points.
The Bookies have given the Force a 7 point start – with an offer of Bet ’10 Get ’20 in bets – which translates to them predicting a Blues victory by 7 points. We think the Blues have finally starting living up to expectation this season and should be able to beat the Force comfortably. Blues to win by 10.
Last five results.
Sat, 17 Apr 2010 Force v Blues 17-38 Auckland
Fri, 13 Feb 2009 Force v Blues 19-25 Perth
Sat, 15 Mar 2008 Force v Blues 27-17 North Harbour
Fri, 04 May 2007 Force v Blues 6-33 Perth
Fri, 14 Apr 2006 Force v Blues 8-39 Auckland
Force overall record against the Blues.
Played 5, Wins 1, Losses 4 , Draws 0
Match No.26: Force v Blues
Date :Saturday 12 March
Venue : Perth
Kick Off local: 19:05
Kick Off GMT: 11:05
Referee: Nathan Pearce
Assistant Ref 1:Stuart Dickinson
Assistant Ref 2:Julian Pritchard
TMO : George Ayoub
Force : 1. Pek Cowan,2. Ben Whittaker,3. Tim Fairbrother,4. Sam Wykes,5. Nathan Sharpe,6. Richard Brown,7. Matt Hodgson,8. Ben McCalman,9. Brett Sheehan,10. .James O’Connor,11. David Smith,12. Gene Fairbanks,13. Nick Cummins,14. Alfie Mafi,15. Cameron Shepherd
Reserves:16. Nathan Charles,17. Matt Dunning,18. Tevita Metuisela,19. Jono Jenkins,20. James Stannard,21. Matt Brandon,22. Pat Dellit
Blues : 1. Tony Woodcock,2. Keven Mealamu (c),3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Anthony Boric,5. Ali Williams,6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Daniel Braid, 8. Chris Lowrey,9. Toby Morland, 10. Luke McAlister,11. Rene Ranger, 12. Benson Stanley, 13. Jared Payne , 14. Joe Rokocoko, 15. Isaia Toeava
Reserves : 16. Tom McCartney,17. John Afoa,18. Kurtis Haiu, 19. Luke Braid,20 . Alby Mathewson,21 . Stephen Brett,22 . Sherwin Stowers