Force aim to take another big scalp
April 26, 2013
Western Force fly-half Sam Norton-Knight is confident the Force can upset the Brumbies © Getty Images
Sam Norton-Knight will return to where it all began when he leads the Western Force onto the field to face the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night.
The playmaker returns to the Australian capitol after a career journey which has taken him from the Brumbies to the New South Wales Waratahs, then France and Japan, before joining the Western Force.
But while the Perth-based outfit is struggling this season, having just two wins from nine games, Norton-Knight said the visitors can cause an upset against the competition leaders.
The Force have developed a reputation as giant-killers, beating the Queensland Reds in Brisbane and toppling seven-time champions the Canterbury Crusaders this campaign.
''We approach every game like we're right in it and this week's no different, we think we've got a great opportunity to cause an upset,'' Norton-Knight told the Canberra Times. ''I think we're going to be a big test for the Brumbies. We're just trying to become consistent and I think when we do that, we'll be just as hard as any team in the competition. I'm sure the Brumbies aren't taking us lightly and nor should they.''
Norton-Knight was being groomed as Wallabies great Stephen Larkham's successor in Canberra when he broke into the Brumbies team in 2005. But being behind both Larkham and Matt Giteau in the pecking order prompted his move to the Waratahs.
''I came into the Brumbies side the year after they won the competition and it was a pretty good feeling, the players around were pretty amazing and they were guys I grew up watching,'' Norton-Knight said. ''It was going to be difficult for me to get more game time with Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau there … I don't regret moving and I didn't have any ill feeling when I left. 'You don't get a sense of how good the Brumbies home crowd is until you're on the other side. 'It's amazing how quickly people forget you when you're overseas for four years.''
After starting this season on the bench, Force coach Michael Foley has promoted him to the No.10 jersey ahead of South African Sias Ebersohn.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance