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    Wessels laments Force's 'unlucky losses'

    2017-04-24 09:01

    Perth - Force coach Dave Wessels has joined the growing campaign against courageous losses after a 16-7 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs on Saturday night.

    The Force have developed a reputation for honourable defeats in recent seasons and while their effort on Saturday came against the backdrop of an injury-riddled fortnight, Wessels wasn’t keen to make excuses.

    “We've got to stop being the club that always is the unlucky losers, happy to lose, particularly when we're losing the same way,” he told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

    “We should've learned a lesson, particularly in terms of our back-to-back errors in previous games and we've repeated those errors and we haven't got the result that we've wanted.

    “We've got to learn those lessons and we've got to be pretty honest with ourselves, which I reckon is probably the disappointing part of the game.”

    Wessels said the coming days would involve some blunt exchanges with his players, with inexperience only turned into success by improvement.

    “It's all very well to say, 'spend time together' (it will improve),” he said.

    “If we're not actually prepared to have pretty tough conversations with each other in the next couple of days, then I'll be sitting here next week saying exactly the same thing, which won't be acceptable.”

    Wessels praised second row debutant Lewis Carmichael, for ‘not taking a backwards step’ against Brodie Retallick in his first outing, though their injury-depleted lineout suffered in Perth.

    The severity of injuries to Dane Haylett-Petty (hamstring) and Luke Morahan (eye), will likely be known on Monday, as the side’s preparations begin for the Lions.

    Last year’s finalists have plenty of weapons and Wessels said they would need to step up against the Johannesburg side.

    “I think they've got a very well-balanced game and they've got a very strong set piece game but they've also got a good running game and kicking game,” he added.

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    Fixtures

    Friday, 31 January 2020
    • Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park 08:05
    • Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium 10:15
    • Sharks v Bulls, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 19:10
    Saturday, 01 February 2020
    • Sunwolves v Rebels, Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium 05:45
    • Crusaders v Waratahs, Trafalgar Park 08:05
    • Stormers v Hurricanes, Cape Town 15:05
    • Jaguares v Lions, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 23:40
    Friday, 07 February 2020
    • Highlanders v Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium 08:05
    • Brumbies v Rebels, GIO Stadium 10:15

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