Foley praises the Force for ‘courageous’ effort

Western Force coach Michael Foley has praised his players for playing with “courage” in their 13-25 Super Rugby victory over the Waratahs in Sydney.

The Force ended the Waratahs 10 match home winning streak when they became the team to beat them in Sydney since July 2013.

In a physical encounter, the win was set up by the Force’s hard-working and courageous forward pack with the Western Australian side defending admirably across the field and maintaining their composure throughout the match to take the opportunities on hand for points.

The Force held a 8-3 advantage at the break before laying on three tries in the second half, with Angus Cottrell, Luke Morahan and Francois van Wyk all crossing.

The Waratahs crossed for two second half tries of their own, both through winger Rob Horne.

The four-tries-to-two victory marks the first time in the club’s history that the Force has won the opening match of its season, with the 12-point victory marking the team’s biggest away win in Australia. It is also the first time the Force has recorded back-to-back victories over the Waratahs.

“It was very courageous,” said Foley after the match.

You come into a game like this knowing what sort of challenge it is: you’re playing the best team in the comp at their home first up, which we did last year.”

“You know what it’s going to take because your footy’s not going to be perfect this time of year. I take my hat off to the courage that was shown out there today and I thought the defence was magnificent.

“We had a little chance early (to score a try) and missed it, and they’re the sort of things that can be distracting. “

“As I said to the team just now, they showed a lot of maturity in the first part of the game because there were a few things that didn’t come off for us and we stayed composed.

“It’s a massive challenge to beat the Waratahs and part of that challenge is to remain composed when things don’t quite go well for you and they have their moments. “

“I thought our guys were excellent in that space today,” added Foley who coached the Waratahs before joining the Western Force.

The Force will now travel to Brisbane to take on the Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 21 February.

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