Western Force returned home with their 2nd win of 2021 last week. That was in Melbourne v Rebels by 15-16. Now they need to get past the NSW Waratahs this Saturday. At least not just to show off their true colours. But they can guarantee a chance in the Playoff final v Brumbies.

NSW Waratahs on the other hand may still climb out of nowhere. Despite no wins after six meetings. Thanks to the mathematicial difference to advance in the Playoffs. But chances are it is unlikely for this year. As this away side is doing whatever they can in Perth. Having lost against the Force at home in Week 3.

Western Force

The front three remains unchanged. Tom Robertson & Santiago Medrano in the props. Alongside Felati Kaitu’u as the starting hooker/throw-in in the 2 shirt.

Behind them is Jeremy Thrush & Sitaleki Timani. Then Tim Anstee, Kane Koteka in the respective blindside & openside. As Brynard Stander returns at Number 8.

The Argentine pair at 9 & 10 of Tomas Cubelli & Domingo Miotti. Jordan Olowofela & Richard Kahui both on each flank. Followed by Kyle Godwin & Tevita Kuridrani in the midfield. And Jack McGregor rounds off the Force XV.

Subs

Andrew Ready at hooker behind Felati Kaitu’u. Angus Wagner & Greg Holmes in the props. Ryan McCauley in reserve for Thrush/Timani. Fergus Lee-Warner as loose forward. Ian Prior at 2nd choice half-back. Before Grason Makara & Jake Strachan can fill-in in the utility backline.

Waratahs

Nothing changed up front. When you have Angus Bell & Harry-Johnson Holmes in the props. So does Dave Porecki at hooker. In the second row sees Hugh Sinclair & Max Douglas. You got the Bash Brothers of Lachie Swinton & Carlo Tizzano. And Will Harris completes this Waratahs back row.

Jake Gordon is joined by new fly-half in Ben Donaldson. Since Will Harrison is out for six weeks due to injury. James Ramm & Alex Newsome on the wings. Lalakai Foketi & Izaia Perese in the midfield. As Jack Maddocks rounds off at full-back.

Subs

Tom Horton behind Dave Porecki. Tetere Faulkner & Darcy Breen in the props. Sam Caird & Jeremy Williams at reserve second row. Charlie Gamble as back up to Swinton/Tizzano/Harris. Jack Grant at scrum-half. And Tane Edmed remains in the bench at utility back. Despite not been given a chance in the starting five-eighth.

Final Thoughts

Western Force have a great 2nd half momentum. They used some lost time from the previous 40. And took advantage of the opposition mistakes. In which helped them overtake the Rebels. And held them off before the final hooter. One thing they need to work on is the slow starts. That is something the Force need to cut their ill-discipline. As well as fire off early in the attack. If they are to finish 3rd & play in the Qualifying Final v Brumbies.

Waratahs still needs to find a win. The return of Jake Gordon at half-back gave them a lift. And dominated the 2nd half alone. In which helped them stay in contention until the end. Only for the kick to sail out wide that saw the Brumbies relive that pressure. But at the same time you have Will Harrison injured for a few weeks. Then they put an untried fly-half in their starting XV. It will be a gamble for sure. But the Tahs just need to balance on both halves that does guarantee victories.

This will be a close low-scoring game in Perth. But I am going for the Waratahs to finally win here in 2021. And break the Force hearts at home by seven points.

Published by Sports Benches

Matthew Nicholas, the founder/blogger/vlogger on Sports Benches, is an aspiring cricket player & passionate sports fanatic who lives in Sydney, Australia.

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