The Honey Badger is back and ready to fire. Image courtesy of: the couriermail.com.au
Force v Blues
Saturday June 28 – 7:45 PM (AEST)
The Force can still make the finals this year. Sitting only one point outside the top 6, they have three games left to secure a finals berth for the first time in the franchise’s history. They also welcome back a number of players from injury and representative duty. But first they have to conquer a Blues side who have found a bit of form at the back end of the season.
A few of the Force players would be flying high after the Wallabies Test series against France at the start of the month. Nick Cummins was sensational out wide, Ben McCalman was damaging off the bench and Nathan Charles provided that spark that pushed the French defences to the limits. Before the break, the Force was playing the best football anyone has seen from them for a very long time. They were strong in defence, ruthless in attack and damaging on and off the ball. Coach Michael Foley welcomes back not only his representative stars but a host of players from injury. Hugh McMeniman, Marcel Brache, Tetera Faulkner and Solomoni Rasolea all return to the fray.
The Blues are not out of the running yet. If a few minor miracles occur, they could be playing finals footy next month. It’s a near impossible task, but one that brings out the best in players. Coach Sir John Kirwan is beginning to turn the Blues back in a premiership contender, but they may still be a couple of years away before they are a powerhouse again. With Luke Braid leading the charge, the Blues future is starting to look bright. Kirwan has given promising young flanker Steven Lautau another shot at the starting XV after being squeezed out by in-form Peter Saili back in Round 10. Kirwan has also brought all the All Blacks back into the starting XV, hoping they can bring their impressive form back with them.
It’s a must-win for both teams. With both teams sitting outside the top 6, a single loss from here on out will spell the demise for both of them.
LIVE on FoxSports 3