Force finally raised the bar
The Western Force finished their 2013 Super Rugby season in style, a result coach Michael Foley feels showed the side's true potential.
The Western Force has finished their 2013 Super Rugby season in style with a 21-15 win over the Brumbies in Perth at the weekend, a result coach Michael Foley feels showed the side's true potential.
In a fitting farewell for the side's departing players - including stalwart Brett Sheehan and inaugural squad member Richard Brown - the Force crafted one of its most complete performances of the season, with the home side stifling the Australian Conference leaders' attack and continually crossing the gain line to help set up the three-tries-to-two victory.
No.8 Ben McCalman was brutally physical from the back of the scrum and worked in unison with his back row partners Matt Hodgson and Chris Alcock.
Wing Nick Cummins was also highly involved - particularly under the high ball - and brought the crowd to their feet on numerous occasions with trademark fearless running in slippery conditions.
The only sour note to the evening was lock Hugh McMeniman's early exit from the match with a neck injury while fellow second row forward Sam Wykes was also helped from the field with a leg injury.
The win was the Force's fourth of the season, adding the Brumbies to their Reds, Crusaders and Highlanders scalps in season 2013.
The Force coach, Foley, said the result was reward for the team's unwavering commitment throughout the season.
"Coming out of a season like last season where there was such a bleak feel, the players pulled together very strongly from the start and learnt to play for each other above all else," he said.
"I think the standards the players set from day one was above anything they had before and a large amount of that should be attributed to Hodgo [Hodgson].
"There were times during the year when we kept pushing which is why we were able to go out there tonight and play as well as we did."