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‘It could’ve been worse…’: Ex-Wallaby reacts to Force’s ‘poor’ loss to Blues

By Finn Morton
Nic White of the Force and his team look on from the bench during the round seven Super Rugby Pacific match between Blues and Western Force at Eden Park, on April 05, 2024, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Already sitting at the bottom of the Super Rugby Pacific standings going into round seven, the Western Force’s season has gone from bad to worse after a “poor result” on the road against the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park.

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The Force, who upset the Queensland Reds on March 23 for their one win of the season to date, travelled across the ditch to take on a star-studded Blues outfit that includes the likes of Hoskins Sotutu, Caleb Clarke and Rieko Ioane.

But the match got away from them quite quickly. All Black Ofa Tu’ungafasi started the Blues’ barrage of point-scoring fun with the opening try in the 12th minute. The hosts led 28-3 at the break and continued to dominate the fixture during the second 40.

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Hoskins Sotutu, Taufa Funaki, Corey Evans and AJ Lam added a try each as the Blues ran away with an utterly dominant 50-3 win over the Force.

While fellow Aussie side the NSW Waratahs also struggling for wins in Super Rugby Pacific, former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles has explained why the Force are clearly “worse” at the moment.

“That’s insane. It could’ve been worse,” Hoiles said on Stan Sports’ Between Two Posts.

“The Blues… what they’ve evolved on this year is the tough tight stuff. To be able to find 50 so quickly as they did, that’s a poor result for the Force.

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“They’ve won one game and they’re looking worse than the Tahs, you’ve got to be honest. The Tahs aren’t going down 50-3, they lost by two points at home to the Blues.”

Looking to turn their season around, the Force last week announced the signing of 95-Test Wallaby Kurtley Beale on a short-term deal until the end of the current season.

Match Summary

0
Penalty Goals
1
8
Tries
0
5
Conversions
0
0
Drop Goals
0
112
Carries
102
8
Line Breaks
2
11
Turnovers Lost
17
5
Turnovers Won
7

Beale, who has been playing some rugby with Sydney club Randwick, was recruited following the season-ending ankle injury to impressive outside back Harry Potter.

The 2011 John Eales Medallist will bring some invaluable experience with him out west, but as Hoiles joked, “He’s not worth 47 points.”

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“He’ll help them but no one is,” Hoiles, who coached Beale at The Wicks, explained.

“I’m really happy for him. He needs that. I would’ve been happy for him to stay (at Randwick) but at the same time, he’s got aspirations to play at the highest level.

“I hope he goes over there, and what he’s done in a really short period of time… if you asked every player in our side ‘how was he on and off the field’ you’d get seven of eight out of 10 from everyone.

“But the guys that you’d get 10 out of 10 (from) would be the centres, the 10, the 15. He makes people around him better and I don’t think we have enough players in Australian rugby that help other people improve.

“I’m hoping that we see a spike in performance from (Ben) Donno, from Hamish Stewart, from Will Harris who hasn’t really fired over there this year. That’s what good senior players can do.

“He’s still got it, mate.”

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