Super Rugby 2013 Team Preview – ForceAuthor: Nick | Filed under: Team Previews
Rather than a who’s who of Australian Rugby the Force side reads more like a “who are they” list? Nathan Sharpe has finally hung up his boots and will be sorely missed. David Pocock has gone to the Brumbies. Those 2 were the Force side last year so what’s left for the team from Perth?
Not a lot, without Sharpe and Pocock it could get messy. They’ve also lost star-winger Napolioni Nalaga which will probably go unnoticed since he hardly got the ball last season. Wallaby flanker Matt Hodgson takes over the captaincy after 7 years of loyal service to the club. Halfback Alby Mathewson has joined the club along with South African flanker Chris Alcock who must have been tired of sitting on the Waratahs bench with fellow Safa Sarel Pretorius.
The flyhalf position at the Force really has been a Farce. After losing James O’Connor they found no solutions in David Harvey, James Stannard and Ben Seymour. Fortunately for the Force that’s the one place that things are looking rosier with the arrival of Wallaby Sam Norton-Knight (in March) and South African Sias Ebersohn.
Players to watch
None long term, although Round 1 only features Aussie teams and in Round 2 the Force play the Southern Kings so their could be some value early on. We’ll be keeping an eye on the possible scrumhalf/ flyhalf combination Mathewson and Ebersohn in the warm-up games, 2 players who could set the gears in motion. Alfi Mafi was the Force’s top try scorer last season so it may pay off bringing him in for rounds 1 and 2.
The race for the wooden spoon should be wrapped up in round 2 when the Force take on the Southern Kings with the loser taking home the spoils. Home ground advantage for the Kings, it looks like Force will be last again.
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