The West

Confident Force ready for African foray
Matt Hodgson.Pic: Getty Images

Money can buy a lots of things, but it can't buy belief.

At the moment, the Western Force have belief on tap, and they're hoping there's plenty left in the tank ahead of what shapes as a season-defining tour of South Africa.

Six wins from their past seven games have propelled the Force into fourth spot on the Super Rugby table.

The Perth-based franchise have the bye this week, before taking on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Cheetahs sit in 14th spot on the table, while the Stormers are dead last after posting just two wins from their opening nine games.

Should the Force secure a perfect two wins from the tour, it would put them within touching distance of securing a maiden finals berth.

A home final is also a distinct possibility.

Captain Matt Hodgson has been through plenty of dark times at the Force since arriving in Perth for the team's inaugural season in 2006.

But he said the blood, sweat and tears under coach Michael Foley's worth had paid off in spades.

"The majority of this playing group has been together for 18 months. We did a lot of hard work last year and didn't get the results we deserved," Hodgson said.

"But now to get it and have belief in the group, you're seeing us winning games with 13 men left on the field and wins away from home.

"We've got a lot of momentum at the moment and we just have to keep riding that."

Coach Michael Foley knows his team still have plenty of areas to improve on if they are to become a major contender this year.

The scrum has been a hit-and-miss area all season, while the line-out has become a concern in recent weeks.

The Force lost possession on a host of their own throws in last week's 15-9 win over the Bulls, and Foley said he would use the team's bye week to work on the area.

Winger Luke Morahan (hamstring), scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle), lock Hugh McMeniman (collarbone) and flanker Chris Alcock (shoulder) will all miss the tour of South Africa.

The West Australian

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