Force prepare for Rays battle
With the 2019 NRC season providing some unpredictable results, the Force is preparing for a tough battle with the Sydney Rays this Sunday at UWA Sports Park.
Captain Ian Prior emphasised the importance of having a good defensive structure against the Rays who have many potential threats, especially within their unstructured play.
“Sydney play a lot of great rugby there, they obviously have a good forward pack with big talented dynamic ball carriers such as Shambeckler Vui and guys like Curtis Rona out wide,” Prior said.
“Certainly a lot of threats across the park, particularly their unstructured play is quite entertaining so we must make sure our defence is on-point the entire game.”
Ian Prior elaborated that each team in the NRC have the skills to win the competition and the Force will be treating each opponent as the top side.
“Teams that aren’t having the best start love these types of games, where they have the chance to prove themselves against top sides and we know that Rays will come over with that mentality,” Ian said.
Forward Brynard Stander supported his Captain and said there has been an incredibly high level of talent in the 2019 competition and the need to be prepared.
“Teams that aren’t at the top have nothing to lose and will love the chance to knock a top team off their perch so we have to be wary of that and make sure we control the game and play how we want to play rather than how they want to play,” Stander said.
With much of the season producing fast-paced running rugby this year, it has been vital for the Force bench to enter the game during crucial end stages and continue the pressure set by the starters.
“Every week we talk about how important our finishers are coming on in the late stages and bringing lots of energy and experience,” Stander said.
“With guys like (Henry) Stowers who brings a lot of pace to the game as he wants to get his hands on the ball, which is crucial for us as we fatigue in the last stages of the game to close things off.”
As Ian’s streak of successful kicking continues making 19 conversions from 23 attempts over the season and kicking with perfect accuracy in the last game, the captain talked about his preparation and the infamous ‘butt wiggle’.
“The wiggle is just a routine, I have developed a pattern there and it is something I am comfortable with after doing thousands of repetitions it becomes ingrained in my movement pattern,” Ian said.
“It gets the crowd going from time-to-time that little ‘butt-wiggle’ but I will keep it going as long as it is working.”