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'You don't get to cry': Western Force vow to never repeat 51 point hammering

Tim Anstee of the Force collides with Michael Wells of the Force during the round two Super Rugby Pacific match between Western Force and Queensland Reds at AAMI Park, on March 05, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Western Force coach Simon Cron says there’s no time to cry about his team’s woeful 71-20 loss to the Queensland Reds, and captain Michael Wells has vowed to never let a result like that happen again.


The Force conceded 10 tries as they slumped to the second-largest loss in the franchise’s 18-year history.

The biggest defeat remains the 53-0 mauling by the Crusaders in Christchurch in 2007.

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Sunday’s result came as a shock given the Force opened their season with a fighting 34-27 win over the Melbourne Rebels a week earlier.

The Force will be back in action on Saturday night when they host Moana Pasifika at HBF Park, and Cron wants his players to move on quickly from the “car crash” performance against the Reds.

“You don’t get to cry,” Cron said.

“You’ve got a six-day turnaround. So for us we need to sit down, evaluate, get better.


“I don’t think you can dwell on it. We’ve just got to find the fixes, the critical few things we need to do, and do that.”

Wells copped a head knock against the Reds and will miss Saturday’s clash under the league’s concussion protocols.

But he will be demanding 100 per cent from his troops at training this week to make sure they are steeled for game day.

“Seeing 70 points put on you is bitterly disappointing. It’s unacceptable from our point of view,” Wells said.


“It hurts. We regrouped after the game, I pulled everyone in outside of the coaching staff.

“I said, ‘accept the feeling, acknowledge it, remember it, because right now that doesn’t happen again’. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again.”

Wells highlighted his team’s mental lapses against the Reds as being the biggest problem that needs addressing.

“Seventy points happens when you’re not mentally in the game consistently. And there were a few mental errors, switch-offs,” he said.

“We’ve talked about it for the last couple of weeks – to win at Super Rugby level and professional sport level, it’s the will to win.

“It’s not necessarily technical or tactical a lot of the time – it’s do you want it more than the other team, and are you willing to do everything you can for your team?

“We’re probably going to have to assess whether we did that enough.”

Wells found it hard to watch the game after being forced off with the head knock.

“You feel pretty useless on the sideline there,” he said.

“We were a little bit quiet, which allowed a snowball effect.

“We’ve got a lot of leaders. We’ll regroup during the week and talk about how we can be better.”

Moana Pasifika started their season with a 36-34 loss to Fijian Drua, before losing 52-29 to the Chiefs last weekend.



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