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, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10