Force show how to bring down Bulls - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Force show how to bring down Bulls

By Justin Chadwick 28/03/2010 06:45:04 PM Comments (0)

Western Force coach John Mitchell believes he has provided the rest of the Super 14 competition with a blueprint on how to bring down the unbeaten Bulls.

The defending champions struggled to breach the Force's defence during the opening half of Saturday night's clash in Perth and trailed 15-10 after 49 minutes courtesy of five penalties to James O'Connor.

But the Bulls eventually wore down the tiring Force, piling on the last 18 points of the match to ease to the 28-15 win, lifting them five points clear on top of the table.

While the winless Force couldn't pull off the victory, Mitchell said his team's staunch defence and willingness to hold on to the ball in attack highlighted some weaknesses of the Bulls, who committed numerous handling errors before going on their late charge.

"Clearly if you can keep ball you can put them under pressure," Mitchell said of the ladder-leading Bulls, who tackle the Blues, Chiefs and Reds in the next three weeks.

"I guess some other teams will probably look at it as a bit of a template as a way to play against them and a way to stop them.

"They've been the benchmark of the competition and I think a lot of our young guys would have gained lessons from that experience and also confidence that they can match it with big, physical men."

The Force remain rooted to the bottom of the table with just one bonus point to show from six games.

But while Mitchell admitted the run of losses had been frustrating, he was confident a win was just around the corner.

"I'd like a bit of reward ... but it will come," he said.

"We are working hard on that.

"We're rugby men and we want to win, that's what we're all about."

But it won't get any easier for the Force, who face the second-placed Stormers in Perth on Friday night.

Skipper Nathan Sharpe, who was in dominant form against the Bulls, believed his team had turned the corner after a horror start to the season.

"I think the performances are showing ... we're heading in the right direction," Sharpe said.

"I think for 50 minutes of that game the team really took it to the Bulls.

"I was really proud of the effort of the guys."

The Force won all of their line-outs and even pinched one of the Bulls' throws in an impressive display, with hooker Ben Whittaker showing no signs of nerves in his run-on debut.

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