Trounced Force face test of character

·2-min read

Western Force coach Tim Sampson is confident his team's famed resilience will help them rebound strongly from Friday night's 43-6 trouncing at the hands of the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes ran in seven tries to nil in the one-sided romp, with the Force's first game in NZ since 2017 proving to be a painful affair.

Things won't get any easier for the Perth-based franchise, who face NZ champions the Crusaders in Christchurch next Friday.

The Force were thumped 42-14 by the Brumbies in round six of Super Rugby AU before winning the next three games in thrilling fashion to secure a maiden finals berth.

Sampson is confident his team will rebound strongly again.

"That will sting a bit for sure," Sampson told AAP about the loss to the Hurricanes.

"I said to the guys it's a test of true character both as individuals and as a team how you bounce back.

"We've been a resilient group, and I'm sure we'll address that game pretty quickly and then get back into a good preparation.

"They're a strong group. We're hugely disappointed with the game. We can play better.

"At one point there it was 23-6 and we were pressing their line. If we get a try there it would have been 23-13 and could have steamrolled home, but it wasn't to be."

The Crusaders won Super Rugby Aotearoa for a second straight season this year and loom as the team to beat in the trans-Tasman competition.

Sampson said the Force will relish the challenge.

"It's all exciting for our club, because we haven't played against these guys for four years," Sampson said.

"The opportunity we have wearing the Force jersey playing Super Rugby against NZ teams is fantastic.

"There's guys here who would have been watching the Crusaders play for a number of years in Super Rugby and probably thought they might not get the opportunity to play against them.

"Now they do."