FORCE REACH FOR THE TOP
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Western Force is looking to finish on top of the 2019 NRC ladder. An improving Sydney and the second-placed Canberra Vikings stand in the way.
The Vikings play first on Friday night and have to beat the NSW Country Eagles by at least three tries to pose a threat. If that was to occur the Vikings would move level with the Force on competition points and within reach of the for and against points differential.
The ball would still be very much in the Force court on Saturday in the final game of the regular season. Victory, a draw or even a loss by eight points or less would be enough to secure the minor premiership.
Sitting on one win – against Queensland Country in round 3 – Sydney’s motivation is clear. Finish the season by taking down a big scalp in front of its home crowd.
The team is gaining a reputation as strong finishers. In both of its last two games, it has scored two tries within the last ten minutes, the most recent of which came in a close loss to the Vikings last weekend.
Sydney sits second on the league table for most tackles, a stat worth noting considering the Force’s only loss so far came against a defence orientated New South Wales Country Eagles side.
Clearly building for the future, Sydney has five Junior Wallabies in its squad including WA’s very own livewire scrum-half Michael McDonald who will line up against the Force for the first time having secured a Warratahs contract mid-year.
Other youngsters including highly-rated fly-half Will Harrison and have spent the season maturing alongside established Super players like captain Lalakai Foketi and Lachlan Swinton while promising backrower Charlie Gamble and prop Shambeckler Vui also recently signing Super contracts.
A team of talented young tyros, Sydney will definitely be hard to beat.
2016 (Semi-Final) Sydney 24-42 Perth Spirit. Pittwater Park, Sydney
2018 Western Force 63-15 Sydney. UWA Sports Park, Perth
2017 Perth Spirit 31-44 Sydney. UWA Sports Park, Perth
2016 Sydney 28-8 Perth Spirit. North Sydney Oval, Sydney
2015 Perth Spirit 26-45 North Harbour Rays. UWA Sports Park, Perth
2014 North Harbour Rays 32-29 Perth Spirit. Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Sydney vs Western Force
Saturday, October 12 | Kick-off 9am AWST
Woollahra Oval, Sydney
This match will be broadcast on Fox Sports and streamed on KAYO and rugby.com.au