Finals Spot Up For Grabs

Super Rugby - Force
The Force are looking for their first Finals berth. Image courtesy of:dailytelegraph.com.au

Brumbies Super Rugby Logo

Brumbies v Force


GIO Stadium

Friday July 11 – 7:40 PM (AEST)

Form:

WLLWL

LWLLW



Western Force Super Rugby Logo



It’s do-or-die on Friday night. With the Finals starting next week, one spot is up for grabs and it’s down to three teams. Last year’s Grand Finalists the Chiefs and the Brumbies  are both on 40 points, and so is the Force . The only thing separating these three teams is for-and-against. At the moment the Brumbies have the upper hand, with +12. But a loss on Friday night will spell the demise of last year’s runners up, and may open up a spot for the Force. All they need is the Chiefs to lose to the Blues in Auckland on the same night.

The Brumbies have been inconsistent at best for the last half of the season, and have lost their stranglehold on the competition. At the start of the year, it seemed the Brumbies were going to pick up where they left off last year. But campaign has derailed at the back-end of the season, and they'r now fighting for a spot in the Finals. So they are going all out for this match? Coach Stephen Larkham welcomes back six very experienced players to the starting XV. Pat McCabe, Matt Toomua, Tom McVerry, Josh Mann-Rea, Sam Carter and Joe Tomane all come into the side to help the Brumbies into their second consecutive Finals appearance. Nic White will line-up at scrum-half for his 50th cap in a Brumbies jersey, while Ben Mowan will equal Brumbies legend George Gregan’s record of 49 caps as captain.

This is the Force’s year. They have been the show-stoppers of the competition. Every rugby fan loves to watch them on and off the field. On the field, they are playing some sensational rugby, and off the field, they are winning hearts via larrikins like Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins. The exit of Cummins from the ARU for personal reasons is going to leave a huge hole in the Force. He has become a Force, pun intended, on the field and is often their go-to man out wide. He will do everything he can to make sure this isn’t his last game for the Force this season. Blindside flanker Brynard Stander earns his second start this season in place of the suspended Hugh McMeniman, while a host of injured players have been named to return on the bench. They include Alby Mathewson, Sias Ebersohn and Chris Alcock.

This is it for both teams. They know their job and have one last shot to make it to the play-off stage. Everything is on the line on, so it will either be 'go hard' or 'go home'.

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Toby's Tip: Force 1-12

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