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‘Feelings matter less than victories’: Force look to erase ill discipline

By AAP
(Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Brutal honesty has been the theme of the past few days as the Western Force desperately try to fix their discipline issues ahead of a crunch clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

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The Force are the second most penalised team in the Super Rugby Pacific competition this season and have also been slapped with eight yellow cards.

Ill discipline again cost the Force dearly in last weekend’s 31-17 loss to the Queensland Reds, and captain Michael Wells said there had been some frank group discussions in the wake of that defeat.

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“It’s showing guys what those pictures are, where they’re falling short, and demanding better of them,” Wells told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s not necessarily the nicest chat, because no one likes sitting in a room of 20-plus people and getting told they did something wrong.

“But it’s probably what you need at this point of the season.

“Feelings matter less than victories and results.

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“Guys need to see what they’re doing wrong and remedy it quite quickly.”

Wells acknowledged the Force would not be able to eradicate all penalties but there were some obvious areas to improve.

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“For scrum penalties … things happen in a scrum, I don’t think anyone really knows what’s going on there,” Wells said.

“Sometimes the penalties go your way, other times it won’t.

“It’s more the penalties around not rolling away, the hands in the ruck, offsides, that are really preventable.

“It’s effort, mentality sort of stuff.”

The Force (3-6) sit in 10th spot on the Super Rugby ladder and face an almighty task to upset the fifth-placed Crusaders (6-3).

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Five-eighth Bryce Hegarty (knee), fellow back Bayley Kuenzle (hamstring) and flanker Tim Anstee (concussion) are the latest players to be added to the Force’s injury list.

Folau Fainga’a (achilles) and Izack Rodda (foot) remain sidelined.

But reinforcements have arrived in time for the Crusaders match, headlined by new signing Isi Naisarani.

Naisarani has returned from Japan to sign with the Force until the end of the season, and the Wallabies enforcer will be unleashed against the Crusaders after recovering from a knee injury.

“I don’t expect any sort of rust from him. I expect we’ll see the best of him pretty quickly,” Wells said.

“He’s got international experience, his reputation speaks for itself.

“He definitely brings that ball-carrying threat. He’s a big body, and he’ll definitely throw his weight around.

“We need bodies to punch holes, and adding someone in who can give that feature to our team – that’s massive for us and that’s something Izzy thrives on.”

Prop Santiago Medrano, fullback Max Burey and centre Nikolai Foliaki are also available.

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