Force made to pay for super-defensive woes Goulburn Post

sport, rugby union

Western Force coach Tim Sampson activated the dreaded “black level touch” in training in direct response to last week’s defensive display of horror. The Force conceded seven tries in their 43-6 loss to the Hurricanes in New Zealand last Friday. It was the worst show of the Trans-Tasman Force competition, and they face an even bigger task this Friday night when they face off against the Champions Crusaders in Christchurch. Sampson was disappointed with his team’s lack of defensive zeal against the Hurricanes, and Force players have suffered the consequences ever since. Prop Tom Robertson was among the players who were injured in Monday’s bruising practice session, which was a no-limits affair. “We did what we call a black level contact, which is 10 out of 10 contacts,” said Robertson. “Black means unlimited, so as hard as you can go. It’s basically about making another game.” Its pretty hard. Everyone is fighting. There’s no love lost there, and a few guys had to leave the field. “You can see I have a bit of skin on my forehead too. Some guys are worse off than me.” It is (black code) that is a little out of the ordinary, especially in the depths of the season. “But after a bad defensive effort this weekend, they decided we needed this, and I’m okay with that. We needed to be more physical this weekend.” The Crusaders are undefeated in the trans-Tasman competition and have amassed 117 points in the last fifteen wins against the Reds and Waratahs. Robertson said the Force should play a defensive role to topple the All Black team in charge. “We saw the Highlanders beat the Crusades in Christchurch earlier this year, so we’re confident we can go out there and win,” said Robertson. “We just have to play about the perfect game, and we’ve been practicing this week to achieve that.” We did better when it was a more defensive game. When our defense is aiming I think it’s one of the best in the competition. “If we can make it a low scoring game and really get them into the trenches, I think we’re a good shot.” Australian Associated Press


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