Mathewson to give Weepu the runaround
Mathewson to give Weepu the runaround

Western Force scrum-half Alby Mathewson will be looking to prove a point when he is re- acquainted with his old nemesis Piri Weepu in Saturday night's crucial Super Rugby clash with the Blues at nib Stadium.

The fiery No.9 returns from injury to face his former club for the first time since leaving Auckland where he and Weepu battled for the same job.

Mathewson said he had enjoyed notching wins over New Zealand teams since his move to the Force, but beating an Blues outfit, laced with All Blacks, would be special.

"I always like to beat the New Zealand teams. I've got quite a few good mates in the Blues team and it would be nice to beat them," Mathewson said.

"I spent a lot of time with him (Weepu). He's a great competitor, it's always good playing against him. It will be a great wee battle.

"The way it worked out I left the Hurricanes for more consistent game time and he moved to the Blues for whatever reasons.

"I don't think he's on his way here."

A frustrated Mathewson left the Hurricanes for the Blues to get out of Weepu's shadow in 2010, despite being named New Zealand's Super Rugby player of the year and making his All Blacks debut.

Two years later Weepu made the shock move to the Blues.

Mathewson had cemented the starting role at the Blues, his form had again rocketed him into All Blacks contention and he had re-signed for 2012 before again finding his path blocked by Weepu.

Mathewson, then with four All Black appearances, chose to give up New Zealand Test eligibility to join the Force as a marquee star last season.

New Zealanders playing overseas cannot be picked for the All Blacks under NZRU rules.

He played a leading role in this season's record Force run before injuring his right ankle against the Waratahs in April and his form had some New Zealand commentators suggesting that if he had still been playing in NZ he would have been in line for an All Blacks recall.

The battle of the No.9s will be intriguing and Blues coach John Kirwan is well aware that Mathewson is instrumental in building much of the Force attack from the base of the ruck.

The Force are in the frame to play finals for the first time and understand the ramifications of a loss to the Blues.

The West Australian

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