The Western Force were simply unable to get anything going against the Auckland Blues last night. It was clear within the first minute that the Blues were going to dominate the Force with their star studded All Black backline carrying most of the load.
The main problem for the Force was their poor kicking. Whenever they had an opportunity to play the ball down the field it seemed as if they did not have faith in their forwards to do the work. They would simply kick the ball away and the Blues backline lead by Ma'a Nonu would march the ball straight up the field.
A lack of production in their own half was what accounted for most of the Forces poor kicking choices. they were unable to control the game and play simple, structured and defensive football.
The Force are at their best when they are able to ensure a team sticks to a simple game plan. They easily defend pick and goes and are able to dominate the strongest of forward packs.
There was some good news for the Force however, with Nathan Charles scoring a try off a simple pick and go at the goal line, and Bernard Stander doing much the same to finish off the match.
It was clear that the Force missed the presence of Wallaby winger Nick Cummins who may have provided the explosiveness the backline needed. Flanker Angus Cottrell was also absent due to his leg injury and he may have been able to light a spark within the forwards to get them going.
Maybe it will take a few more Wallabies stars to help the Force reach their prime, but at the moment they will have to regroup and win the last two games of the season to make the finals, which will be no easy feat. They will have to beat the Reds who looked fantastic against the Melbourne Rebels Friday night and lastly they will have to defeat the Brumbies in Canberra.