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Western Force narrowly defeated in first Super 14 trial matc

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Western Force narrowly defeated in first Super 14 trial matc

Postby Cobber » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:42 am

Playing against the competitions champions, the Western Force lost out narrowly to incumbent Wallabies Coach Robbie Deans' Crusaders.

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The Emirates Western Force have gone down 12-7 to the Crusaders in their opening trial match at Olympic Park in Melbourne on the weekend.

In perfect conditions and in front of a healthy crowd, the WA side took an early 7-0 lead when Ryan Cross's try was converted by Matt Giteau.

The build up work by AJ Whalley led to the try, as the giant prop galloped 30 metres into Crusaders territory before offloading to Giteau. Some fancy footwork by Giteau gave Cross a straightforward run to the line.

The score remained 7-0 until the break.

Emirates Western Force coach John Mitchell brought on many of his rookies for the second half, and despite breaking even around the ground, the younger squad members couldn't keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard.

Tries to All Black full back Leon MacDonald and Nasi Manu, and a conversion from Hamish Gard, gave the Crusaders a 12-7 lead.

Sam Wykes had a chance to snatch victory right on full time, but his kick ahead rolled over the dead ball line.
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Great signs here for a good season for the Force this year! Although only a trial match, to hold back the Crusaders as the boys did for the first three quarters of the game is an impressive feat. Next trial game is this Thursday against last years wooden spooners the Queensland Reds.

Force's forwards are a relatively light and mobile bunch which, although perceived as a weekness by many, could be their trump card with the new ELVs being in play in the competition this year. Their backline is first class all the way.

Dare I say that if we have luck on our side in regards to injuries, making the finals is well on the cards. First 3 games of the season are on the road in South Africa against the Sharks, Cheetahs and Lions. We have a good track record over that way and if we come home with 2 or 3 wins we will be well on track.

First home game is against the Crusaders who will just be returning from a 2 match jaunt in South Africa and feeling every bit as tired as our boys are. This match will be a real test and give a good indication as to how the rest of the season will go.

More updates later - as you were :thumleft:
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