The Western Force must shed any emotional baggage if they are to avoid setting an unwanted losing record next week, according to coach Michael Foley.
Friday night’s 35-27 loss to the Chiefs in New Zealand was the Force’s ninth straight defeat – equalling their worst run set in 2006.
A loss to the Blues in Auckland next Saturday would mark a new low for the Perth-based franchise.
Although the Force sit last on the table with a 1-9 record, they have been in the hunt for victory in most games this season.
Their performance against the Chiefs on Friday night showcased the team’s fighting spirit.
The Force were reduced to 14 men in the 29th minute when halfback Ian Prior was red carded for a dangerous tip tackle.
Trailing 30-8 in the 46th minute, the Force could have easily waved the white flag.
Instead, they scored three second-half tries against all odds to almost pinch victory from the Chiefs.
Foley was proud of his charges after the game.
But he said it was imperative for the player group not to get bogged down by the losing run heading into next week.
“One of the issues in sport is that sometimes we can catastrophise things,” Foley said.
“Clearly things aren’t going as we would want. Clearly we’re not winning the games we want to win.
“We all feel like we could have done better at different times during the season.
“But what you are seeing is a group of guys who are looking to change that.
“If we carry baggage rather than lessons, then we won’t go forward. We’ve learned our lesson, so we keep moving.”
Lock Adam Coleman (shoulder) and prop Ollie Hoskins (ankle) are in danger of missing the Blues clash.
Prior is another player in doubt, with SANZAR to determine whether a ban is deserved for the lifting tackle.
Foley said his team were gutted not to come away with a win over the Chiefs.
But there were plenty of positives to take out of the match, with skipper Matt Hodgson scoring a try in his return from a hamstring injury.