The Rebels earned back to back victories over the Western Force in 2016 with a 27-22 victory at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
The Rebels beat the Force 19-25 in Round 1 and the double is the third time that the Melbourne side has won both its matches against the Force in one season.
Melbourne’s Rebels also achieved the double over the Western Force in 2012 and 2013. In 2016 the Rebels have won six and lost six.
The Rebels outscored the Force by four tries to three in the contest so neither team earn the Try bonus point but the Force leave with a losing bonus point.
Powerful Rebels winger Sefanaia Naivalu scored two tries in the match while Western Force winger Luke Morahan also crossed for a brace of tries.
The Fijian right-winger Naivalu ealed the Rebels’ win when he hurtled through two tackles off a Nic Stirzaker reverse pass to plant the ball one-handed over the try-line with 14 minutes left.
Naivalu scored his earlier try just after half-time to take his season tally to eight.
The Rebels are seven points behind the Brumbies and Waratahs in the Australian conference, with little hope of forcing their way into the end-of-season play-offs.
The Rebels have now won four of their six home games against the Perth-based Force.
The Rebels led 10-8 at half-time after a try from Reece Hodge, but lost back Mike Harris — a Wallabies squad member — with a hamstring injury early in the half.
Naivalu’s two tries and another by lock Lopeti Timani brought the Rebels a 27-15 lead with 14 minutes left.
But the Force gave themselves a chance with winger Luke Morahan’s second try when eight minutes remained, only for the Rebels to hold on to their win.
The loss was Force’s 10th of the season, putting further pressure on embattled coach Michael Foley.
The Rebels return to Super Rugby after the June Internationals with a match at home in Melbourne against South Africa’s Stormers on July 2nd.
The Western Force travel to South Africa as they play the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein later that day.
More to follow.
Final Score Rebels 27 (10) Force 22 (8)
Tries – R.Hodge, S.Naivalu 2, L.Timani
Pen – R.Hodge
Con – R.Hodge, J.Debrezeni
Tries – L.Morahan 2, H.Scoble
Pen – P.Grant
Con – P.Grant 2
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2:Michael Hogan
TMO :George Ayoub
1. Cruze Ah Nau , 2. James Hanson , 3. Toby Smith , 4. Luke Jones , 5. Lopeti Timani , 6. Sean McMahon , 7. Jordy Reid , 8. Colby Fainga’a , 9. Nic Stirzaker (captain) , 10. Mike Harris , 11. Tom English , 12. Reece Hodge , 13. Mitch Inman , 14. Sefa Naivalu , 15. Jack Debreczeni
Replacements : 16. Pat Leafa , 17. Tom Moloney , 18. Tim Metcher , 19. Culum Retallick , 20. Adam Thomson , 21. Scott Fuglistaller , 22. Ben Meehan , 23. Jonah Placid
1 Pek Cowan (C) , 2 Harry Scoble , 3 Guy Millar , 4 Ross Haylett-Petty , 5 Adam Coleman , 6 Brynard Stander , 7 Chris Alcock , 8 Ben McCalman , 9 Alby Mathewson , 10 Peter Grant , 11 Luke Morahan , 12 Kyle Godwin , 13 Ben Tapuai , 14 Marcel Brache , 15 Dane Haylett-Petty
Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann , 17. Francois Van Wyk , 18. Tetera Faulkner , 19. Rory Walton , 20. Angus Cottrell , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Solomoni Rasolea , 23. Semisi Masirewa