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Round 14: W Force v Blues



Big match this one for both teams.
The Force are sitting at number seven on the ladder, they have a pretty small chance of sneaking into the last four.
It would require them to secure a bonus-point win over the Blues in Perth on Friday and then for the Blues, Chiefs (who face the Crusaders) or the Bulls (who face the bottom-placed Reds) not to get a single point from the final round. It would also require the Force to beat the Blues by at least 42 points, to get ahead of them on points difference.
The Blues need a win to confirm their play-of place, while a bonus-point win could see them finish first.

Game wise if the Froce have done their maths then they are really going to have to through the ball around and secure a lot of points, a lot.
With McAlister returning for the Blues I can’t see this happening. For mine it’s his not being at 12 which has caused the problems for the Blues.

This could be the last game for Ioane before returning to the Reds next year and will want to continue his form of last week.
force do need a lot to go their way but some of the results could defintely happen. they do have a massive points disadvantage but if they play really well they will have a chance.

on the flip side the blues will be desperate to get the win after the wheels have fallen off the last few weeks after a great start to the season. a win could very well secure a hom semi well a loss could seem them miss out on a semi spot altogether. being a blues fan I really hope they can win this week to get a semi spot and with the talent they have I believe they can beat the force fairly convincingly.
Force winning is good enough for me. Then Brumbies just need to win and the Chiefs lose.
Is McAlister definatly playing? Because Nucifora is mentally retarded and it just seems to be the kind of thing Nucifora would do, either start him off the bench or not even play him.
It's official - Ioane is going to the Reds :angry:

Ioane jeopardising Wallaby chances - Force

AAP | Wednesday, 2 May 2007

BRISBANE: Home sick winger Digby Ioane may be jeopardising his long term Wallabies rugby selection chances by relocating to Queensland to be with his family, Western Force boss Peter O'Meara says.

The Force confirmed they would release the 21-year-old on compassionate grounds to take up a two-year Reds deal despite Ioane verbally agreeing to remain in Perth just weeks ago.

Western Force chief executive O'Meara said the Super 14 club could have taken legal action and stopped Ioane from relocating to Brisbane but decided to allow the 2005 Wallabies tourist to reunite with his family.

Ioane is already considered a chance of making a 30-man Wallabies squad announced on May 20 after furthering his claims with a barnstorming match against the Cheetahs last Friday.

He got his start at the Reds as an ARU high performance scholarship holder in 2005 before linking with the Force.

However, O'Meara hoped Ioane's move to Queensland would not hinder his long term Wallabies chances.

"He didn't return to Queensland because he was passionate about playing for the Reds, he returned to be closer to family," O'Meara said.

"I just hope that doesn't jeopardise his chances of playing for his country.

"I think he was better served playing in potentially Australia's emerging backline."

O'Meara said the Force had no problem with Queensland Rugby for snapping up Ioane but wondered if the Reds' programme was right for his development.

"The Reds did not do anything wrong, they just happened to be the fortunate bystanders," he said.

"They just happened to be lucky enough to be where he (Ioane) wants to be from a family point of view.

"He will need to be very closely managed ... I hope Queensland are able to provide the same sort of development for him, an environment in which he can feel as though he is happy."

An emotional Ioane fronted a Perth press conference that lasted just minutes as he read from a statement and left without answering questions.

"It's been a tough week for me. I'd like to apologise to the Western Force," he said.

"I thought I had made up my mind. But my decision is to return to Queensland where I will be with my family and I will be happy.

"But I would like to say thank you to everyone at the Western Force.

"I have been grateful to be here the last two years."

Ioane said his on-field form belied his off-field emotional state.

"I struggled the past two years without my family. I think I would be uncomfortable here for the next two years," he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting back home for family reasons."

O'Meara said the Force had "very strong legal advice" that they could stop Ioane but in the end did not want to stand in his family's way.

"The confidence he will get by having his family around him, he's got 10 brothers and sisters, is a big factor in his life â€" I'm compassionate about that," he said.

"We could have sought damages for breach of contract, we could also have entered into a process to injunct him from playing for another identity if we so desired.

"But we felt that wasn't necessarily in his interests. He's emotionally a pretty fragile sort of guy ... so we decided on compassionate grounds it was better to release him." [/b]

Devastated :( - he's the type of player we can't afford to lose. Looks like Staniforth will be spending the next 3 years stuck out on the wing.... or at least until Stapleton is ready for the big time.

The Reds will have some real talent and depth in there backline next year.....


Not a bad bunch of backs there.
luke mcalister is back. but mealamu and ali williams will be on the bench. rokocoko is no where to be seen, i doubt he will get any action in the semis next week if blues win this game.

Blues squad:

15. George Pisi, 14. Doug Howlett, 13. Isaia Toeava, 12. Luke McAlister, 11. Rudi Wulf, 10. Isa Nacewa, 9. Steve Devine, 8. Nick Williams, 7. Daniel Braid, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Troy Flavell (capt), 4. Greg Rawlinson, 3. John Afoa, 2. Derren Witcombe, 1. Tony Woodcock.

Res: 16. Keven Mealamu, 17. Nick White, 18. Ali Williams, 19. Justin Collins, 20. Taniela Moa, 21. Ben Atiga, 22. Anthony Tuitavake.
I'm just getting sick of talking about the omissions of key players for the Blues. But at least we get to see Nick Williams and McAlister back.

Western Force -
15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Junior Pelesasa, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Matt Henjak, 8 Scott Fava, 7 David Pocock, 6 Luke Doherty, 5 Nathan Sharpe ©, 4 Rudi Vedelago, 3 Troy Takiari, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Gareth Hardy.
Subs: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 AJ Whalley, 18 David Pusey/Matt Hodgson, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Chris O’Young, 21 James Hilgendorf, 22 Haig Sare.
The two teams look well matched except for a couple of postions

Giteau >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nacewa

Staniforth >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Wulf - Tuitavake would have been a much better option against Da Forth :new_russian:

Kaino >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Doherty

I got myself some free tickets today..... cant wait, should be a great match!

Force by 15 :yes:
Tickets are sorted!!!
Should be a cracker of a game!

Truth - Digby's good mate Leroy Houstan just signed with the reds. I wonder if that had any part in the decision. I dont really buy the family thing but im looking forward to watching a full squad of healthy reds playing next year.
I'll say it for you mate.

With McAlistair back in the line up and Git going back to 10 for the Force... Blues by 15
I'm surprised Nucifora even remembers to breathe.

We should still win, but there are still some retarded selections, Mealamu and Williams have both performed above average despite Nuciforas attempt to give them as little gametime as possible, and the only reason Rocokoko hasn't played is because Nucifora refuses to give him game time. Pisi still worries me and no Holwell on the bench. At least Gibson is gone.

Blues 1-12.

And Aussie Rugby is f***ed if Nucifora is supposed to be the next in line when the current Wallaby coach goes.
Nucifora got the job done at the Brumbies so you Blues must have screwed him up! It looks like you guys may have a power struggle too with the AB regulars constantly being put on the bench.

Laurie Fisher will move up the coaching ranks if the Brumbies win the Super 14.
There is no power struggle, its just Nucifora being stubborn and him digging himself into that hole. He could've played them in Week 8 or 9 when they first came back, instead he waited until Week 11 and 12 when it was too late.
Nucifora got the job done at the Brumbies so you Blues must have screwed him up! It looks like you guys may have a power struggle too with the AB regulars constantly being put on the bench.


Didn't Larkham and Gregan push for Nucifora to leave the Brumbies? I now understand why.
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Nucifora got the job done at the Brumbies so you Blues must have screwed him up! It looks like you guys may have a power struggle too with the AB regulars constantly being put on the bench.


Didn't Larkham and Gregan push for Nucifora to leave the Brumbies? I now understand why.

Same here bro.

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