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Western Force hammer sleepy Melbourne Rebels

Matt Hodgson celebrates a try in his 100th Super Rugby match

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Article Published: Saturday 8 March 2014|

The Western Force recovered from their two opening losses by hammering the Melbourne Rebels 32-7 for a bonus point victory in Perth.

The Force scored the first try in the second minute and their fourth and bonus point try came in the 26th minute.

In their opening match the Rebels beat the Cheetahs with a bonus point and scored five tries in the match.

The Rebels then made six changes for this week and could only manage a consolation try after the siren had sounded.

Speaking directly after the match Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham said,"They caught us napping in the first half"

The Force scored the first 32 points of the match to blow the Rebels away and went on to open their account for 2014 with an upset 32-7 win.

The home team went within seconds of holding their opponents scoreless for the first time ever, only for the Rebels to score their lone try as the final hooter sounded.

Force captain Matt Hodgson said the Force were determined to show they were better than their two losses this season suggested.

"The way we came out showed people how we do play football," he said.

"The way we controlled the game, our defence was back to where it was last year and that is what won us the game."

Not surprisingly, Higginbotham said the game was lost early.

"We did well in the second half, but it was not good enough."

The Rebels were coming off an emphatic 35-14 win over the Cheetahs last weekend, while the Force were easily beaten 27-14 by the Brumbies.

The Force didn't score until the dying minutes against the Brumbies, but ran in the last two tries of the match, and lived up to their promise with a stunning start against the Rebels, who made five changes to their starting 15.

The underdogs regained possession from the initial kickoff and their first attacking move saw Alby Mathewson dart through a big hole in the Rebels' defence to score the game's opening try in the second minute.

They then got the first of several fortuitous first-half bounces in the 10th minute, allowing Luke Morahan to re-gather a chip kick after a line-out and cross out wide as the lead went out to 14-0 on the back of Sias Ebersohn's second conversion.

Ebersohn added penalties in the 17th and 22nd minutes, with his team totally dominating possession.

In the 24th minute, another favourable bounce from a chip kick enabled Hodgson to soccer the ball past the defence, and then gather and cross for his team's third try in his 100th Super Rugby match.

Up 27-0 after the Ebersohn conversion, the Force again capitalised on an unpredictable bounce in the 27th minute, with Nick Cummins able to regain possession after another kick and set up Angus Cottrell for the bonus point try.

Nothing was going right for the Rebels, who appeared to have scored their opening try just seconds before half-time, but were denied by the video referee and trudged off 32-0 down at the break.

The Rebels host the Crusaders next weekend while the Force are away to the Highlanders.

Final Score Western Force 32 (32) Rebels 7 (0)


Western Force
Tries - A.Mathewson, L.Morahan, M Hodgson, A. Cottrell
Pen -  S.Ebershohn 2
Con - S.Ebershohn 4
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - T. Veainu
Pen -
Con - B. Hegarty
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2: Ed Martin
TMO: George Ayoub


Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Kieran Longbottom,4. Sam Wykes ,5. Wilhelm Steenkamp ,6. Angus Cottrell,7. Matt Hodgson (c),8. Ben McCalman,9. Alby Mathewson,10. Sias Ebersohn,11. Nick Cummins ,12. Kyle Godwin,13. Junior Rasolea,14. Luke Morahan ,15. Jayden Hayward

Replacements :16. Heath Tessmann,17. Tetera Faulkner ,18. Ollie Hoskins,19. Adam Coleman,20. Brynard Stander,21. Ian Prior,22. Zack Holmes ,23. Marcel Brache


1. Max Lahiff , 2. Pat Leafa, 3. Paul Alo-Emile, 4. Hugh Pyle, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Sean McMahon, 7. Colby Fainga'a , 8. Scott Higginbotham (C), 9. Luke Burgess, 10. Angus Roberts, 11. Lachlan Mitchell, 12. Mitch Inman, 13. Tamati Ellison, 14. Tom Kingston, 15. Jason Woodward

Replacements :  16. Shota Horie, 17. Toby Smith, 18. Laurie Weeks, 19. Luke Jones, 20. Lopeti Timani , 21. Ben Meehan, 22. Bryce Hegarty, 23. Telusa Veainu

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