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. 
 
AAP
 
 
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14