Needing to get back on a winning road, the Crusaders were aware they wouldn't get any favours from a Force team who had been unlucky in some games in their Super Rugby Pacific match in Perth on Saturday.
Halfback Bryn Hall said the Force are a physical side, and like all Australian teams, they were effective around the collision area.
"They build a lot of phases due to their forwards. It's a lot of things we didn't get right against the Waratahs and it's going to flow on against these Force boys and the Force have been a bit of a bogey team in the past," he said.
The game was a chance to remedy what went wrong against the Waratahs and some trends in their game from the last four or five weeks.
Coach Scott Robertson delivered his promised complete review of the Waratahs' loss. Hall said the staff, and senior leaders, had laid the accountability out around being better and making a shift toward achieving that. Hall said it was one of the better reviews he had experienced at the Crusaders.
"There was a lot of care and emotion around it. But, at the same time, there were a lot of solutions," he said.
It will be 6 years and 29 days since the Crusaders last played Super Rugby in Perth this Saturday!— Western Force (@westernforce) May 3, 2022
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Force vs Crusaders
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They would be their focus ahead of the game on the training field, and he hoped they would rectify issues.
"We're going to lose games, we've lost games in the past, but when you question around our start, and were we really there, and those kind of questions…it hurts as a player.
"I think for us, it's the kind of traits that we live by that we weren't living up to. That's probably the thing that most hurt."
Hall agreed with match captain and hooker Codie Taylor's post-game comment that the Waratahs had wanted the win more.
"If you look at that first 20-30 minutes, you can't really question it. That's probably what hurt for us. We have a standard we want to live up to," he said.
While they had suffered red cards because of tackle techniques, it was something not only the Crusaders, but all teams, were attempting to change, and the Crusaders were working hard to achieve better results.
Nearing the playoffs was the wrong end of the season to be getting red and yellow cards for tackle errors, he said.
Starting better would also be a goal to avoid having to chase games.
Hall said the difference among Australian teams this year was their improved ability to stay in games and not to ship points in short time.
The Force had demonstrated that when completing 26 phases while pounding the Blues line in last weekend's loss in Perth.
All the Australian sides had taken the lessons from last year and were much more challenging, he said.