The Western Force have set their sights on producing a famous underdog triumph when they take on the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday night.
The Force were thumped 57-5 by the Queensland Reds last week in one of the worst losses in the club’s history.
The wooden spoon certainties face another monumental challenge on Friday when they take on the ladder-leading Brumbies.
When the teams met a month ago, the Brumbies won 24-0.
Most betting markets have ranked the Force a $10 outsider to knock off the Brumbies in the rematch.
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Force coach Tim Sampson believes his players will thrive off that underdog tag.
“There’s been some great underdog stories in the past. Let’s hope we wake up Saturday morning and it’s another one,” Sampson said.
“We won’t have any problems getting up for this one.”
Captain Ian Prior said the team went through a brutal review of their performance against the Reds, and would come out firing against the Brumbies.
“A few guys were pretty emotional after the game,” Prior said.
“They’ve invested a lot into this club, and were disappointed with the result.
“It was the players’ idea to watch the game together there at the end of the game. We wanted to go through it with the staff. It’s never easy watching yourself or your teammates making mistakes.
“But it was a process we had to go through. It was pretty brutal, but it was needed.
“We’ve got great characters. We’re a bunch of fighters and are going to come out swinging this weekend and rectify that result.”
The Brumbies have made just one change to the starting line-up from last week’s 38-11 win over the NSW Waratahs – the inclusion of scrum-half Joe Powell.
The Force have recalled centre Henry Taefu and utility back Marcel Brache, with former All Blacks centre Richard Kahui going to the bench.
Brumbies: Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Solomone Kata, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Bayley Kuenzle, Joe Powell, Pete Samu, Will Miller, Lachlan McCaffrey, Cadeyrn Neville, Murray Douglas, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Connal McInerney, James Slipper. Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, Tom Ross, Darcy Swain, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Reesjan Pasitoa, Len Ikitau.
Western Force: Jack McGregor, Marcel Brache, Kyle Godwin, Henry Taefu, Brad Lacey, Jono Lance, Ian Prior (c), Henry Stowers, Kane Koteka, Fergus Lee-Warner, Ollie Atkins, Jeremy Thrush, Kieran Longbottom, Andrew Ready, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Feleti Kaitu’u, Chris Heiberg, Tom Sheminant, Tevin Ferris, Brynard Stander, Nick Frisby, Richard Kahui, Jake Strachan.
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