Foley: Western Force have to fire from the start

Western Force head coach Michael Foley said that he saw some things that were positive in his team’s 17-21 loss to the Rebels in Perth on Friday and blames the loss on their slow start.

The Force lost their fourth consecutive match of the season and their second at home this year when they were beaten by the Rebels with a four point margin.

The Rebels got off to the better start, scoring two first-half tries for a 15-0 lead, before an Alby Mathewson quick tap on half-time led to his opening try for the home side and reduced the deficit to eight points but after the slow start the Force were always playing catch up.

“We’re getting moments that are ‘good rugby’ and against a side [like the Rebels] that prides itself on its defence, they had a bye last week, they were fresh and I thought we finished over the top of them,” said Foley after the match.

“But you’ve got to come into the game and fire from the start; you’ve got to win those early battles and we know that, but it’s where we fell down tonight. “

“Coming back after half-time we fought our way back into the game and basically controlled the game, but being able to be accurate and also aggressive up front is going to make a difference for us.

“Early in the game there were a number of times when we had good possession and we were turned over at the breakdown because we were too slow to get there. “

“We were a little bit inaccurate in that area. By contrast, in defence we weren’t getting off the line, we were soaking up the metres and they were getting momentum, and they made good at those opportunities.”

The Force will travel to South Africa tomorrow ahead of their two-match tour against the Bulls (Saturday, 21 March) and Sharks (Saturday, 28 March).

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