Mathewson: Force won’t be complacent against Reds

The Western Force have insisted that they will not be lulled into complacency ahead of their Super Rugby match this weekend against the Reds in Brisbane.

The Force started their Super Rugby season with an impressive bonus point victory over the Champion Waratahs while the Reds were on the wrongt end of a 44 point hammering by the Brumbies.

The Reds are expected to be a lot stronger this week as not only will they have home advantage but they should also have playmaker James O’Connor available for selection.

Last week the Reds started code-hopper Karmichael Hunt at flyhalf but this week he could drop back to fullback.

The Reds have vowed to make up for last week’s performance and Force scrumhalf Alby Mathewson says that they are preparing to face a backlash from the Queenslanders.

“We are actually not taking too much out of their weekend’s performance, because we expect them to be a lot better this week,” Mathewson told AAP.

“They’re at their home ground, and they’ll want to put on a good performance – not only for themselves, but for their home crowd.”

The Force will go into the match with some confidence after last week’s victory but also because they have not lost to the Reds since 2012.

The Perth based Super Rugby franchise will have to dig deep into their depth however as they will not have prop Pek Cowan (neck) and fullback Dane Haylett-Petty (foot) and captain Matt Hodgson who are all injured.

Meanwhile New Zealander Mathewson says that he wants to finish his playing career with the Western Force but that will rely on the Australian Rugby Union allowing him to continuing on as marquee players.

Mathewson is contracted to the end of the season and will only be allowed to re-sign if the ARU grant the Force a special dispensation to sign him again.

“It’s a tricky one with eligibility rules,” Mathewson said.

“But if I could, I’d like to finish my career here.”

“I love it here. I love what we’re building. Everything about Perth – the people, all the boys.”

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