Article

Foley upbeat after Force´s fighting loss

15 February 2013 14:25

Western Force coach Michael Foley was taking plenty of positives out of his side's loss to the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

The Force took it up to the Rebels for the 80 minutes at AAMI Park, but lacked the composure and experience at certain times to eventually be beaten 30-23 in the opening Super Rugby match of the season.

Despite the loss, Foley remains optimistic about the remainder of the season and believes his side can be competitive against anyone they play.

"This was the first performance and for us there was some really good things out there," Foley said after the match.

"For 90 percent of that game we were pretty happy.

"We will be honest on review and look at the 10-20 percent of things we didn’t do well and we will need to adjust those things.

"It is really important for this team, after the season they had last year that people don't look for any shortcuts or any easy answers.

"We have got to work really hard to become the team we want to become and there were some good signs tonight."

Foley said spirits are high in the Force camp, despite the fact many experts are picking his side to be the least successful of the Australian franchises in 2013.

The Force coach said his players had undertaken a gruelling pre-season and that he was proud of the effort his team produced in their first competitive game of the season.

"To come away with three tries was excellent and we had some very good backline play at times,” he said.

"The first 20 minutes I thought we controlled the game and had it at the right end of the field and we were building phases and accumulating pressure.

"We just let the pressure off a couple of times with turnovers and that let the Rebels back into the game a little bit.

"They were able to gather momentum and take points away from us."

Foley is looking forward to his side's trip to South Africa to tackle new franchise Southern Kings next round and is hopeful of regaining a host of key players.

Skipper Matt Hodgson (hamstring) and veteran Hugh McMeniman (pectoral) missed the Rebels clash and Foley said both players were a chance to make the South African tour.

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