The West

History awaits Force to bury ghosts
Matt Hodgson.

Players almost invariably claim they don't study club records or care about previous results.

But every single Force player is well aware they can create club history on Saturday night. Beating the Stormers in Cape Town would be their record-breaking eighth Super Rugby win of the season.

And, while there are only a handful of players left from 2011, they will all be out to avenge the last visit to Newlands.

They were ravaged with illness and several players were struck down with the giardia virus and on drips just before the 51-16 rout.

In the previous game they beat the John Mitchell-coached Lions 27-15 - but that was their last win in South Africa before last Saturday's 23-16 victory against the Cheetahs.

Foundation player and captain Matt Hodgson, who has stuck with the club through some dark days, said the side knew the importance of Saturday night.

"It's something we have actually spoken about this week," he said.

"That win against the Cheetahs puts us equal with the best in terms of wins for the year, a big box tick there, but we're definitely looking for that eighth win to go down as the most victorious Force team in a year.

"That's our first goal and there's more to come as soon as we achieve that."

However, and predictably, Hodgson said they had not revisited the last trip to Newlands.

"We don't look back that far. We look at what we've done this year," he said.

The Force is not a team laden with big stars demanding big money and Hodgson said that was working in their favour.

"We haven't called on one person or two people to win our games, it has needed the whole 15 or 23 to get the victory," he said.

"It's something we pride ourselves on, of having that team mentality around the camp.

"It's a squad mentality. We win together, we lose together. We're doing it for each other."

Stormers fly-half Demetri Catrakilis and winger Kobus van Wyk will be available for the clash. Deon Fourie is expected to move from the flank to hooker after Scarra Ntubeni broke his left foot in their 28-21 loss to the Bulls last weekend.

·The Force have revealed they are no longer negotiating with former Wallaby James O'Connor as speculation mounts that he will sign with the Reds.

The West Australian

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