Rugby Union 3 years ago

AUS: The Force in Gold

  • AUS: The Force in Gold

Out of the five Western Force players named in the Wallabies squad for Saturday nights demolition of France, three of them were able to have a run and wear the classic green and gold. Let's have a look at how they went. 

'The Honey Badger' Nick Cummins - Cummins definitely had a stand out performance, not just amongst the Western Force players who were named, but the entire squad. This was the Badger's 13th test cap, and it's clear why he's started in every international match he's played. He has effectively cemented his spot in the Wallabies starting rotation for the rest of the season after the numbers he put up against the French on the weekend. It will be difficult for anyone to overtake Cummins, especially after he out up a try and had a great performance on both attack and defence.

On the night, Cummins ran the ball six times, making 85 metres and scoring a try. On defence he put up an impressive five tackles 

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Pek Cowan - Cowan didn't play too many minutes on Saturday night, but when you're trying to out perform James Slipper (who received his 50th cap) it will always be difficult to cement a spot in the first 15. Cowan is definitely a future Wallabies starter. He is a leader at the Force and his knowledge of the game and pure skill makes him a fantastic player. This Cowan's 6th Wallabies cap, so it may take a while until we see him in the starting rotation, but it should definitely happen later in his career. 

Even though he had low minutes, Cowan put up a few stats, carrying the ball once for a three metre gain. Cowans minutes will hopefully increase after a few matches. 

Ben McCalman - McCalman played a great game on Saturday night, despite being restricted to low minutes. It will be very difficult for McCalman to consistently cement a spot in the Wallabies team as he will be competing for a position with Wycliff Palu and Scott Higginbotham. Palu played his 50th test match on Saturday night and Higginbotham was not named in the squad. McCalman may find himself fighting for the backup number eight jersey with Scott Higginbotham over the next few weeks, especially if Ewen Mckenzie wants to be experimental with the squad. 

Much like Cowan, McCalman put up a solid number despite his low minutes. He ran the ball twice, making six metres, made three quality passes and four tackles. 

In other news - Due to the devastating Stephen Moore injury, we will almost definitely see Nathan Charles coming off the bench into the backup hooker position. Charles has not had a test cap before, so he will make his debut on Saturday night. This will most likely account for low minutes during his first few matches, but his work on the set piece is immense and we know he will always bring a solid performance. 

As for Matt Hodgson, we should see him come off the bench within the next few weeks, as coach Ewen Mckenzie may decide to experiment with the squad due to the blowout win on Saturday.  

Check out how the other team's players went below:

- Waratahs

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Article by Luke Worthington

(All statistics as per Sydney Morning Herald)

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