Sport

'I don't think we're good enough to win Super Rugby'

Peter Grant of the Western Force takes a kick.
Peter Grant of the Western Force takes a kick. Dianne Manson

RUGBY UNION: The Western Force has four of its final five matches of the Super Rugby season at home and has a chance of making the playoffs if it tops the Australian conference.

But coach Dave Wessels has a more realistic view on the Force's chances as the team prepares to take on the in-form Highlanders in Perth on Saturday night.

Despite his young team becoming the first Australian Super Rugby team to win in Argentina last week when they produced a shock 16-6 triumph over the Jaguares, the Force coach is not getting carried away.

"It would be fantastic to make the playoffs," Wessels said.

"But as I've said all along, I don't think we're good enough to win Super Rugby at this point.

"We're on a journey with a very young team, and we're just trying to get better every week.

"If that means a playoff spot, that's great. But that's not what we're measuring ourselves on."

The Highlanders are the in-form team in the competition having not lost in their past seven matches ahead of the game at nib Stadium.

Wessels will still be without Matt Hodgson (ankle), Ben McCalman (shoulder) and Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring) but will have former Springbok Peter Grant in the side this week to bring some much-needed experience.

Wessels is confident Grant, a veteran of 122 Super Rugby matches, will play a pivotal role after impressing at fullback against the Jaguares.

"He can play in the toughest situations and his heartbeat wouldn't get over 50. He's that sort of guy," he said.

"Off the field 'Bash' has really come alive for us in the last couple of weeks.

"He's brought a lot of energy to the group with his experience.

"He's one of the coolest, calmest guys you'll ever meet. I've got a lot of confidence in him at 10."

Australian teams are an astonishing 0-17 against New Zealand sides in the Super Rugby competition this season.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies will welcome back Chris Alcock as they take on the Kings in South Africa.

Alcock has had a niggling injury but will come back into the 23 alongside Tom Banks, who has returned to the fullback spot.

Aidan Toua will move to the wing in place of James Dargaville, who did not travel with the team.

"Aidan's got tremendous experience, he's a very good communicator on the field and he'll give us good direction from that left wing," coach Stephen Larkham said.

"Banksy has performed well when he's played fullback, so I want to give him another opportunity there."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  dave wessels super rugby western force


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 jailed, prison drug business run with smuggled phone

"Vile and insidious drug" leads to syndicate jail terms.

Nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan heads into Brisbane

On top of being a mobile military airport, the USS Ronald Reagan is its own floating city, with at least 5000 sailors on board at any time.

The Nimitz class airline carrier towers 20 storeys above waterline

Elite school brings in sleep expert

The survey found seniors were the most sleep-deprived.

Survey of students find most sleep deprived because of study, tech

Local Partners

'It's crap': Carpark chaos at Bremer High

A LACK of parking at Bremer State High School is causing frustration for parents, some of whom have been slapped with hundreds of dollars in fines.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

Beauty blogger’s horribly racist product review

A POPULAR beauty blogger and model has come under fire for using a racist slur in a recent post.

Outrage as Ninja Warrior cuts Australia's fittest man

Adelaide’s James Newbury was mysteriously cut from the Ninja Warrior broadcast.

Australia's fittest man wasn’t good enough for Ninja Warrior.

Maggie's whirlwind trip around Japan

Maggie Beer pictured in a scene from her TV special Maggie in Japan.

Cooking icon serves up the best of Japanese cuisine in new TV show.

Exploring our complex relationship with the Southern Cross

Warwick Thornton in a scene from his documentary film We Don't Need A Map.

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton explores national identity, nationalism.

Ben will be cooking with Oma

Masterchef 2017 contestant Ben Ungermann.

MASTERCHEF'S last man standing will draw on his Dutch heritage.

Prince Charles and Camilla heading for Qld

Prince Charles and Camilla

It promises to be a holiday fit for a King

Eddie McGuire to come back as Footy Show co-host

Eddie McGuire at the Million Dollar Lunch annual fundraiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Friday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING

Footy Show axes Craig Hutchison, Sam Newman survives

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Owner tells of ghostly goings on at old Mackay pub

GHOST STORIES: Several people have died at the Mirani Hotel

Owner says pub is 'definitely haunted'

Locky eyes next 'series' win

WINNING COMBINATION: Rugby league great Darren Lockyer is to launch his collection of house designs with Ausmar on Saturday at Caloundra.

NRL legend Darren Lockyer in Sunshine Coast partnership

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!