Preview: Force vs Brumbies

The Force and Brumbies will be looking to bounce back from opening-round defeats when they meet in Perth on Saturday.

The Force let in six very soft tries in Sydney, but if they can work together as a collective on defence and miss fewer tackles, they could cause some upsets in 2014.

There are some good players in their backline. Luke Morahan scored many a try during his time in Queensland and has now been allowed to roam free at fullback, while Kyle Godwin was one of the breakout Australian players of last season. And then there's Wallabies wing Nick Cummins.

However, it's up to the Force pack to set the tone. Hugh McMeniman, Ben McCalman and Matt Hodgson are no strangers to this level now, while Sam Wykes and Chris Alcock certainly have talent. Their set-piece work seems steady enough, but can they really take scalps like the Brumbies? Against the big carriers of the Waratahs, the Force just didn't appear to have enough size to compete.

The Brumbies threw everything at the Reds in the dying stages last Saturday but couldn't get the job done at home.

Coaches Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham could do with a settling victory in Perth and will be boosted by the return of Wallabies outside centre Tevita Kuridrani, who partners Pat McCabe in midfield. Losing Joe Tomane is a pity as the Wallaby looked sharp against the Reds, but Henry Speight on the opposite wing will keep the Force guessing.

The front row of Scott Sio, Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander have a bit to prove too after being outdone by the Reds during key scrums last weekend and should expect dominance up front, with David Pocock flourishing at the breakdown.

Force – 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Junior Rasolea, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Chris Alcock, 5 Hugh McMeniman, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Sias Ebersohn, 23 Jayden Hayward.

Brumbies – 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Ben Mowen (c), 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Subs: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Leon Power, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Lionel Cronjé.

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Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt