Western Force coach Tim Sampson says the side need to “roll up sleeves and get in some hard yakka” in Saturday’s crucial Super Rugby Pacific clash with Fijian Drua.
The Force went down 22-17 to the Waratahs last weekend in their worst performance of the season.
If they reproduce something similar they will be in for a long afternoon at Leichhardt Oval against the Drua who took the Reds to the wire last weekend, just going down 33-28 after a massive fight-back.
Sampson said there had been a rugged review of the Waratahs loss.
“The review was honest,” Sampson said.
“We don’t have to bring in new innovations or a new play book.
“The main focus is to roll up sleeves and get in some hard yakka.
“The players take ownership of it. We will see the response on Saturday.”
The Force are clinging on to the vital eighth finals qualification spot with Drua just two points behind.
“That was an opportunity lost last week, to jump up into fourth spot,” Sampson said.
“It would have been nice to be up that end of the table, the pressure to win this weekend just increases.”
Sampson has made seven changes. Four are tactical, the other three injury enforced.
Veteran scrum-half Ian Prior replaces livewire Issak Fines-Leleiwasa in a new halves combination with Jake McIntyre who gets his first start of the season ahead of Reesjan Pasitoa.
Brynard Stander returns to the starting line-up in his favourite No.8 jumper and prop Greg Holmes gets his first start of the campaign.
Front-rower Tom Robertson (calf) and backs Kyle Godwin and Toni Puku (both HIA) are out.
They are replaced by Harry Lloyd in his first start of the year, former All Blacks centre Richard Kahui and winger Byron Ralston.
Sampson expects Prior to have a calming influence against a Fijian side known for their running running and broken play.
“We’ve said from day one it’s great to have different style of players in the 9 and 10 jersey,” Sampson said.
“Ian is a good calming influence.
“If he plays to his strengths it will benefit the team.
“We are taking pressure off Reesjan.”
Prop Bo Abra will make his Force debut from the bench and Sampson said he was like an “energizer bunny” when told of his selection.
“He’s been waiting for this for a long time,” Sampson said.
“He’s worked really hard. He’s in great shape
“He’s a young fella, he moves around the field really well.”
Sampson said they had to “play smart” against the Drua.
“You’ve got to be wary of them. We’re well aware of their strengths,” he said.
“It’s a priority to shut them down and take away opportunities to give them free ball.”
The game is part of a double header with the Force women taking on Fijiana Drua in the Super W competition.
Western Force starting side:1 Harry Lloyd, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 3 Greg Holmes, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 5 Izack Rodda, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 7 Ollie Callan, 8 Brynard Stander, 9 Ian Prior, 10 Jake McIntyre, 11 Manasa Mataele, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 13 Richard Kahui, 14 Byron Ralston, 15 Jake Strachan. Reserves: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Jackson Pugh, 20 Tim Anstee, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 Reesjan Pasitoa, 23 Grason Makara.