Force's captain courageous

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:38
Large matt hodgson signs for fan
Matt Hodgson has been at the club since their inception, meaning he has experienced plenty of lows over the past eight years but things are starting to look up in Perth.
Matt Hodgson has been at the club since their inception, meaning he has experienced plenty of lows over the past eight years but things are starting to look up in Perth.
He was there when the Firepower collapse cost players six-figure sums.
He experienced the 2008 player revolt against then-coach John Mitchell and the subsequent departure of a host of stars.
And then there's been the woeful on-field fortunes - eight straight years without a finals berth.
But 2014 is shaping as a turning point for the Perth-based franchise, with a three-game winning streak lifting the Force to within two points of third spot.
Hodgson, in his second season as captain, has played a key role in the Force's resurgence this season.
His two tries were vital in the 18-15 win over the Chiefs, but it's his bone-crunching work at the breakdown that lifts his teammates the most.
Hodgson is often bashed and bruised after games, and it's not uncommon for him to have blood oozing out from various places during post-match interviews.
Coach Michael Foley has only been at franchise for 19 months, but it didn't take him long to figure out just how important Hodgson was to the set-up.
"He means everything to the side," Foley said.
"He's been here from day one and he's had to go through difficult times, but he just keeps standing up. He perseveres.
"If you think about what he's stood for in the nine-year history of the club, and you see some of the things happening on the field, he's a shining example.
"He's probably the main reason why some of that stuff happens."
The Force will use this week's bye to freshen up their battered bodies.
Last week's gutsy win over the Chiefs came at a major cost, with lock Hugh McMeniman set to miss at least a month of rugby after breaking his collarbone.
But scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will be free to help the side chase a franchise-record fourth straight win next week against the Queensland Reds after escaping with a one-week ban for trampling an opponent.
In-form No.8 Ben McCalman will also front up against the Reds after serving his ban for a dangerous tackle. 
There are currently no matches being played
Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26