Foley proud of Force progress
May 10, 2013
Nick Cummins and his Western Force team-mates are impressing coach Michael Foley © Getty Images
Western Force coach Michael Foley said his side is making progress after a narrow one-point loss to the Chiefs in Pukekohe on Friday.
On paper, the differences between the two teams couldn't have been more obvious heading into the encounter. The Chiefs were looking to go back to the top of the Super Rugby table, while the Force were looking to secure their third win in 13 rounds.
However, the chasms that separated the side were filled by inclement weather as both sides used a territorial tactic to great advantage.
The Force scored two tries to the host's one, both to Patrick Dellit, before being downed 21-22. Foley told reporters after the defeat that he was proud of the boys' level heads after suffering a 1-7 penalty count after the opening quarter of the match.
"I thought the players remained pretty composed and got stuck into their work in difficult conditions and against tough opposition. I'm pretty proud of them tonight," Foley said.
The previous encounter between the two was also a relatively tight affair, with the Chiefs securing a 20-12 victory in Perth last year. While his side had suffered a number of close defeats, the two wins came against previous Super Rugby champions, the Reds and Crusaders.
Foley said he believed his side had been developing nicely.
"We're restless about not getting results, and I think you sense that in the playing group as well. Six months ago they set a very high level for themselves. There's always that point in time where you wonder if they can go harder. Over the last month or so there's been a couple of times where it would've been easy to back off a bit, but they push harder. A performance like that suggests they're making progress."
Cruden boots Chiefs to victory (Australia only)%]
While Foley expected observers would criticise his side for a poor 2013 record that features just two wins in 13 rounds, he said there was a need to go through this building period to better develop his side.
"They do what they say, which is the most important thing. They're challenging themselves as much as I'm challenging them. We are ambitious. We're not satisfied with a loss but at the same time we recognise that there's progress being made."
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship