Force staying grounded ahead of Chiefs game

JUSTIN CHADWICK
Last updated 17:38 18/03/2014

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Super Rugby

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The Western Force aren't daring to dream of finals action just yet despite recording back-to-back bonus-point wins for the first time in their Super Rugby history.

The Force followed up their 32-7 trouncing of the Melbourne Rebels with a 31-29 win over the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.

The impressive wins lifted the Force up to equal sixth on the table ahead of Saturday night's clash with the defending champion Chiefs in Perth.

Force marquee Wilhelm Steenkamp, who was part of the Bulls' set-up when they won the title in 2009, said the Perth-based franchise couldn't afford to think too far ahead just yet.

"We're in a great position," Steenkamp said on Tuesday.

"But it's only two wins out of four games - 50 per cent at the moment.

"We are not thinking about playoffs or anything like that.

"The past two weeks have shown the quality of players the Force have.

"We want to make it a great season for us and we are busy getting something special here at the moment."

The Force have the chance to notch three wins on the trot for the first time since 2007.

But it won't be an easy task against the undefeated Chiefs, who have won the past two Super Rugby titles.

The Chiefs will be without utility back Charlie Ngatai (calf), winger James Lowe (knee) and Robbie Fruean, who will undergo a procedure to address a heart arrhythmia issue.

Prop Ben Afeaki, loose forward Sam Cane and halfback Augustine Pulu have been called into the Chiefs' 27-man squad.

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- AAP

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