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Super Rugby: Reds can blow Force away

Saturday provides an all-Australian affair in Super Rugby Pacific as rock-bottom Western Force host the impressive Queensland Reds at HBF Park.

Carrying on from last season, the Force look set for another tough campaign as they head into Round 5 without a win to their name.

The Reds on the other hand are challenging at the top end of the ladder after three wins in their opening four games.

It looks set to be another tricky evening for the Force, with the Reds looking capable of putting up a big score on their trip to Perth this weekend.

What: Western Force v Reds
Where: HBF Park, Perth
When: 18:35, Saturday 23rd March 2024
How to watch: Stan Sports
Odds: Western Force 4.33, Reds 1.22

Force stuck in a rut

A home defeat last time out against Moana Pasifika just shows where this Force side are at present.

Moana are renowned for being a strong attacking side but have one of the leakiest defences in Super Rugby, yet the Force, on their own patch, could only manage 14 points against the Auckland-based outfit.

Coach Simon Cron knew before the season started the challenge that was ahead but that will be even clearer after a winless first four rounds of the competition.

Ill-discipline was the real killer for the Force last time out against Moana, as they lost the penalty count 9-2 in the first half.

No matter what tricks flyhalf Ben Donaldson and others in the backline produce, if your side are giving away that many penalties it undoes so much of the good work.

The Reds will know if they can apply pressure, that ill-discipline might well creep into the Force ranks once again.

It’s why the hosts are the underdogs at 4.33 to pick up a maiden win of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific campaign on Saturday.

Reds showing their true colours

After a 53-26 win at the Melbourne Rebels last time out, the Reds are already finding their attacking rhythm in this early stage of the season.

The Reds made an electric start to the game at AAMI Park to score five first-half tries and move into a 33-7 lead.

While there was a response from the Rebels in the second 40, the Reds still kept their foot on the gas to score three more tries.

It was a performance that will certainly have the Force wary of what might await them on Saturday night at HBF Park.

The Reds are the firm favourites at 1.22 to land their fourth win of the campaign, while in the Line market the visitors are 1.91 with -11.

Given the Force have conceded 136 points in their opening four games, it’s hard to see the Reds heading back to Brisbane with anything other than a convincing win under their belts.

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