The West

Force focus shifts to attack
Michael Foley. Pic: WA News

Fixing a leaky defence was a priority for Western Force coach Michael Foley when he first arrived.

That box has been ticked with the help of defence specialist and assistant coach David Wessels.

They have also ticked the breakdown box by dominating opponents and they have gone a long way to ticking off the kicking box as they showed in the 23-16 win over the Cheetahs in South Africa on Saturday.

If a team wants to get into a kick-for-kick duel with the Force it will need patience because they have shown they are prepared to wait for the opposition to slip up.

Now the attention is turning to attack in order to add to their tally of 23 tries for the season.

They scored only two tries against the Cheetahs, but there were signs Foley and attack coach Kevin Foote were mixing things up.

The Force breached the Cheetahs' defensive line several times and produced more offloads than seen previously.

"Some of the rugby was good," Foley said.

"We've worked hard on a few aspects of our attacking game and I thought a few of those came through on Saturday.

"There were little glimpses that were positive. In the last two weeks we have focused on how we play the game in the opposition half and do a little bit more with ball in hand.

"That was something we always felt we would do coming into the second half of the season.

"I was pleased how the guys applied themselves in that area. They really do believe they can find a way."

Foley said there were still areas that needed polishing.

"There were things we did on Saturday that we have to work on," he said. "Some of the play in our own half made life hard for ourselves.

"Exiting from our half, we had to do more defence and more scrambling.

"You can have all the plans in the world but a plan is only as good as the moment that comes to execute it. Our guys are very resilient. They just keep going. There is a belief that they can find a way."

The West Australian

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