Super Rugby Review: Western Force

Date published: July 18 2016

With the Super Rugby quarter-finalists now decided we take a look at those teams who missed out. First up, the Western Force.

The Force were looking to improve on their last place finish in the 2015 Super Rugby tournament with an improved performance in the expanded 18 team competition in 2016.

The Perth based outfit opened their 2016 Super Rugby campaign with a 25-19 loss against the Rebels in Perth, however they managed to bounce back with an impressive 22-6 victory over the Reds in Brisbane a week later.

The win against the Reds was followed by a disastrous couple of weeks for the Force as they lost seven games on the trot before they finally recorded their second win of the season with a victory over the Sunwolves in Tokyo. 

The Force continued with their lack of form throughout the season as they lost their next four games before they ended off their 2016 Super Rugby season with a 24-10 defeat against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

The perennial strugglers finished worse of then they did in 2015 as they ended their Super Rugby campaign in last place on the Australasian group with 13 points from their 15 matches played which included two wins and thirteen defeats.

The Perth-based outfit were not helped by off-field distractions and clearly all was not well in the camp as everything came to a blow out towards the end of the season when the club was taken over by the Australian Rugby Union due to financial reasons and head coach Michael Foley was given the boot in June and assistant coach Dave Wessels was asked to take charge of the team on an interim basis.

On a positive note for the club, Wessels believes that the team has plenty to work with for the future.

"We spoke about it in the changing room after Saturday's game. For us it's the start of a journey,” he told The Western Australian after the game against the Brumbies on Saturday.

"What we have is a very young team that is very committed.”

Best player: Dane Haylett-Petty was a rare shining light for the Force this season. The full-back was reliable under the high ball and he was a constant threat on the counter attack throughout the campaign. Haylett-Petty was rewarded for his fine performances throughout this year’s Super Rugby tournament with his Wallabies debut when he started on the wing against England in Brisbane on June 11 and his good form continued throughout the Super Rugby tournament.