View Comments
Holmes to lead Force rebound
Holmes to lead Force rebound

Western Force players have been put through a warts-and-all review of the horrible 22-point first-round Super Rugby loss to the Waratahs last Sunday.

New signing, Perth-born fly-half Zack Holmes, who spent the past two seasons at the Brumbies, admitted it did not make pretty viewing.

But he said it had steeled the team for Saturday's battle with a Brumbies side desperate to make amends for its own bumbling start to the season in a 27-17 loss to the Queensland Reds.

"It was a tough video view session," Holmes said.

"We've had to look each other in the eye and work out what went wrong. We've done that.

"We've regrouped pretty quickly. We've had to move on. We're looking forward to rectifying what we did wrong."

While the main focus has been on fixing the defence, Force coach Michael Foley also addressed his side's kicking game and attacking options.

The Brumbies do not have an Israel Folau but they do have Jesse Mogg, one of the fastest players in Australia, and big winger Henry Speight.

Holmes was disappointed with the Force's kicking game.

"As a half I take responsibility for that as well," he said.

"We gave the Waratahs too many opportunities to attack us off the counterattack. We want to limit the amount of ball we give the Brumbies.

"When the ball's in our 22 (metres) we've got to put it out and when we're trying to exit it has got to go long so they can't counterattack.

"Our attack was a bit one- dimensional. We've addressed that and hopefully we can vary our attack this weekend."

Speight has already warned that the Brumbies will be seeking revenge for the shock 21-15 loss to the Force in the final round last season that damaged their finals run.

Holmes is predicting a tough battle, particularly at the breakdown where the visitors will be led by former Force openside flanker David Pocock.

"The boys were pretty hurt losing. They had high expectations of being in the top two and losing meant they didn't. They'll come back looking for revenge," Holmes said.

"The Brumbies would be disappointed how they played last week so I'm expecting them to come out firing. They will try to come out and dominate us physically."

Playing against his former side may add incentive to Holmes' game but he does not see it as a grudge match.