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Force star looking to rebound after costing his side against over Brumbies

(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

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Western Force coach Tim Simpson is backing Kyle Godwin to rebound strongly from two costly mistakes in a heartbreaking Super Rugby Pacific loss to the Brumbies.


The Force were on track to snatch a rare victory in Canberra after scoring a late try to take the lead in Sunday’s clash.

But with just two minutes left on the clock, Godwin’s clearing kick from his defensive 22m went into the middle of the ground instead of close to the sideline.

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It allowed the Brumbies to launch a quick counter-attack with plenty of clear space on either side and Lachie Lonergan crossed a short time later to secure the 29-23 victory.

Godwin had also committed an error a few minutes earlier when he kicked the ball out on the full from outside the 22m.

Sampson acknowledged Godwin’s clearing kick with two minutes remaining should have gone down the line, but he’s confident the 29-year-old will rebound strongly in Saturday’s clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.

“I had a good chat with Kyle about that, and he felt the same,” Sampson said.


“He was mindful about kicking the ball out on the full.

“He received a bit of inside pressure on his left boot, and the wind was pretty strong going left to right, which is why it sailed midfield a bit.

“In an ideal world we hit the 15m channel and apply pressure there with our kick chase.

“He’s an experienced guy, got a nice left kick on him. We’ll be backing him every day of the week.”


The Force will be without inside centre Bayley Kuenzle (concussion) against the Rebels.

Flyhalf Reesjan Pasitoa performed strongly in his starting debut, and Sampson is keen to unleash the 20-year-in again.

“I’m sure the Rebels are going to target him being a young No.10, but he’s got a pretty cool head on his shoulders, and we’ve seen he doesn’t mind the physicality, so he’ll be right,” Sampson said.

The Rebels were thumped 23-5 by the Queensland Reds last week, but Sampson wasn’t reading too much into the result due to the wet and humid conditions.

Rugby Australia infamously axed the Western Force instead of the Rebels in 2017.

Sampson said the history between the two clubs was just that – history.

“What are we, four or five years on now?” Sampson said.

“If we dwell on the past too much, it takes away key focuses for us.

“We are well beyond that. We’ve got a lot of new players, a lot of new staff in, so I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss that or dwell on it.”


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