Force change two for Chiefs

Date published: March 24 2016

Western Force head coach Michael Foley has made two changes to his matchday 23 to face the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.

In the only changes to the team, hooker Heath Tessmann comes into the starting XV along with Brynard Stander who gets the nod at blindside flanker. 

Foley says the side had learnt some valuable lessons from last week’s loss to the Hurricanes. 

“We were disappointed in our performance on Friday night," he explained.

"For the first 60 minutes of the game, we created enough opportunities to take points. 

“However, at key times we gave possession away and released pressure too easily. A lot of the lead up work in attack was what we’ve been practicing and came on the back of good set piece and defence. 

“Ultimately, we will stay true to the way we want to play and won’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve, but to take the next step and win those games, will mean being more relentless to finish our work when we have momentum at different times throughout the game.”

Tessmann comes into the starting front-row and will join the familiar pairing of Pek Cowan and Tetera Faulkner. The formidable pairing of Adam Coleman and Ross Haylett-Petty will start in the second row for the third straight week. 

In the back row, Stander comes into the starting line-up at blindside with Matt Hodgson at openside and the versatile Angus Cottrell will look to make an impact moving to number eight. 

In an unchanged back-line Alby Mathewson and Peter Grant will look to get the Force on the front foot and continue to build their chemistry while Solomoni (Junior) Rasolea and Ben Tapuai again partner in the midfield. 

Semisi Masirewa and Marcel Brache will man the wings while Dane Haylett-Petty will look to continue his fine form at fullback. 

Coming off the bench, Ben McCalman will look to make his impact felt while Ryan Louwrens and Albert Nikoro will be keen to make the most of their opportunity after showing some good signs in theirs stints off the bench last week. 

Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Solomoni (Junior Rasolea), 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pekahou Cowan 
Replacements: 16 Chris Heiberg, 17 Nathan Charles, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Sitiveni (Stevie) Mafi, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 Ian Prior, 23 Albert Nikoro

Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: FMG Stadium , Hamilton
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Brett Johnson
TMO: Glenn Newman