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Injury-hit Force eye off win in Argentina

NZN 9/05/2017 Justin Chadwick

The Western Force have set their sights on making a statement in the cauldron of Buenos Aires as they prepare for a make-or-break clash with the Jaguares.

The injury-hit Force have won two of their nine games this season to sit 16th overall on the Super Rugby table.

Due to the Australian franchises performing so poorly this year, the Force remain an outside chance to top their conference.

The Brumbies (3-6) lead the Australian conference on 18 points, with the Force nine points adrift with six games remaining.

Four of the Force's final five games of the season are at home, and they take on three Australian franchises during that stretch.

But for the Perth-based team to have a legitimate chance of making the finals, they need to snag a crucial away win.

They have the chance to do that this weekend when they take on the Jaguares at the Velez Sarsfield on Saturday (Sunday AEST).

The Jaguares have won four of their five games at home this season, and will start as hot favourites against the lowly Force.

Most of the Force squad have never even played in Argentina, but Alex Newsome said the group were determined to put in a strong display - especially following last week's 37-12 loss to the Sharks in Durban.

"We've got six games left, and with the way the Australian conference is, we're going to need to win as many of those as we can," Newsome said.

"So things are becoming quite high stakes.

"The goal for this two-match tour was to get at least one win.

"The disappointing thing about the weekend was we felt we let ourselves down and didn't build on the progress we'd been making.

"It definitely means we've got to step back up this week against the Jaguares."

Newsome has made a huge impression since making his Super debut off the bench in a round-two win over Queensland.

Injuries have since opened the door for the 22-year-old to become a regular starter, and Newsome has made the most of his opportunities with a series of strong displays.

It's not bad for a player who was only signed to the wider training squad earlier this year after impressing during a pre-season trial.

The former Australian Under-20s back has been enjoying his time in Super ranks.

But with the axe hanging over the Force, he isn't quite sure where his future lies.

"For guys with families, it's all quite unsettling. And it is unsettling for me as well, because I'm loving Perth and loving the Force," Newsome said.

"I really want to stay. Hopefully the Force can continue in the future."

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