The Western Force have played the Melbourne Rebels 13 times in Super Rugby since 2011, the Force have won four matches, but lost nine times.
The Force’s four wins give them a record of winning 31% of their matches against the Rebels regardless of venue.
- The Western Force earned a 31-22 win in their last Super Rugby game against the Melbourne Rebels (Rd 16, 2017) and will be looking for back-to-back wins against them for the first time.
- The Perth-based franchise has lost their opening three games of the Super Rugby AU campaign; the last time they opened a Super Rugby season with more consecutive defeats was a six-game period in 2010.
- The Melbourne-based franchise has lost only one of their last four Super Rugby games against fellow Australian opposition (W2, D1) and will be looking for back-to-back wins in derbies for the first time since March 2019.
- The Force have scored two tries on possession begun after winning a turnover in Super Rugby AU, more than any other team in the competition.
- Reece Hodge (Rebels) has scored three tries and a total of 37 points across his last three Super Rugby games against the Force, as well as making 35 carries, five clean breaks, and three offloads in that time.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Sydney, Australia.
2.00: Scrum to the Rebels just outside the Force’s 22.
3.00: Billy Meakes’ grubber kick goes into touch.
4.00: Penalty to the Force. Kyle Godwin clears.
6.00: Tevin Ferris is down and getting some treatment. He leaves the field on a stretcher.
7.00: Isi Naisarani closes the gap during a lineout; free-kick to the Force, who opt for a scrum.
10.00: Both teams look out of touch. The scrums are a mess and there is no cohesion in the game.
11.00: Jermaine Ainsley gets pinged for slowing the play, down. Jono Lance calls for the tee.
14.00: A good opportunity goes begging for the Force, but they win a penalty for offside. Referee Angus Gardner has a word with the Rebels for multiple infringements.
12.00: PENALTY! Lance lands the kick. 3-0
15.00: Brynard Stander goes close but the No 8 is held up over the line and Brynard Stander’s feet were in touch as he tried to score.
17.00: Marika Koroibete knocks on Lance’s high ball. Scrum to the Force around halfway.
19.00: It’s all Western Force in the opening quarter as the Perth team put pressure on the Melbourne Rebels.
21.00: A bit of a scuffle breaks out between the teams. There’s no love lost, here.
23.00: It’s a bit of a stop-start Super Rugby clash. Both teams still feeling each other out. The Force win a scrum-penalty and clear the danger.
24.00: A couple of knock-ons by both teams but the play continues until Reece Hodge fumbles on his 22. Scrum to the Western Force in a good area.
25.00: YELLOW CARD! Gardner goes to the pocket. Isi Naisarani, in his 50th Super Rugby match, goes to the bin 3-0
26.00: Obstruction by the Rebels; the Force kick to the corner again.
27.00: TRY! Fergus Lee-Warner flops over the whitewash after a well-worked driving maul. 8-0
28.00: CONVERSION! Lance converts. 10-0
29.00: The Rebels are all over the Force, winning a penalty on the line. The ball is kicked to the corner.
30.00: TRY! Jordan Uelese scores from a well-worked lineout, dotting down in the corner from a blindside move. 10-5
32.00: CONVERSION! To’omua adds the extras. 10-7
34.00: Penalty against the Western Force at scrum time. The Rebels boot the ball to the 22.
35.00: Andrew Kellaway, playing centre, is driven into touch by Nick Frisby.
37.00: Marcel Brache is caught offside. The Rebels are all over the Force. To’omua kicks to the corner.
38.00: Uelese gets pinged for obstruction at the maul. The Force clear their lines.
39.00: Another penalty – the 11th – goes the way of the Force. Lance clears to the opposition’s 10m.
41.00: The Rebels win the turnover and counter-attack from their half. Lance claims the kick and sends the ball into touch on halfway. Uelese’s throw is not straight; the Force opt for a scrum.
43.00: Hodge calls for the tee. It will be a long-distance kick for Hodge.
44.00: PENALTY! Hodge’s kick kisses the right post and drops over the crossbar. 10-all
The halftime score was Western Force 10 Melbourne Rebels 10
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway down under.
43.00: Meakes’ inside ball to To’omua is forward. That’s a coach-killer!
46.00: It’s a strange game, not messy, but both teams are their own worst enemies. Handling errors are 8-7 in favour of the Force.
48.00: Marika Koroibete busts down the sideline but he’s tackled into touch by Lance.
50.00: YELLOW CARD! The Rebels go 10 phases before Jeremy Thrush is sin-binned. The rebels want another scrum. 10-10
52.00: NO TRY! Frank Lomani went close, but he was tackled into touch. To’omua opts for the tee, this time.
53.00: PENALTY! To’omua puts the Rebels in front. 10-13
55.00: The Force is into Rebels’ territory and looking dangerous.
57.00: TRY! Byron Ralston, the try machine, scores in the corner after Meakes misses a tackle. 15-13
58.00: CONVERSION! Lance adds the touchline kick. 17-13
60.00: TRY! Matt Philip crashes over after a series of pick-and-drives after a poor exit by the Force. 17-18
61.00: CONVERSION! To’omua can’t miss from there. 17-20
63.00: Penalty to the Force. Lance will take a shot.
64.00: PENALTY! Lance levels. 20-all
66.00: Another scrum after another handling error; this will be close.
68.00: Frisby gets his team out of the danger zone; however, the Rebels have an attacking lineout on the Fore’s 10m.
69.00: Scrum to Melbourne.
70.00: Esei Haangana knock-on inside the opposition’s 22. That was poor from the lock.
73.00: Pone Fa’amaluli is penalised for trying a ‘Tombstone’ on the opposition. Godwin boots the Force into the Rebels’ 22.
75.00: The Force win a penalty after offside by the Rebels. Lance calls for the tee.
76.00: MISS! Lance cannot land his sixth kick of the game! What a miss! 20-20
79.00: We might have another Super Time!
80.00: Penalty to Melbourne. Hodge calls for the tee. This is a long-range attempt.
82.00: MISS! Hodge’s kick drops short. 20-20
81.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway. The first Half Super Time sees the Rebels on the attack.
82.00: TRY! Naisarani wins the game for Dave Wessels’ men. It came from the mistake at the restart by the Force. Game OVER! 20-25
Full Time after Super Time
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The final score after Super Time is Force 20 (10) Rebels 25 (10)
Tries – Lee-Warner, Ralston
Pen – Lance (2)
Con – Lance (2)
Cards – Thrush (Yellow, 50′)
Tries – Uelese, Philip, Naisarani
Pen – Hodge, To’omua
Con – To’omua (2)
Cards – Naisarani (Yellow, 25′)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: James Leckie
15 Jack McGregor, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Tevin Ferris, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush (Captain), 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Chris Heiberg
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Jacob Abel, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Brad Lacey
15 Reece Hodge (co-captain), 14 Tom Pincus, 13 Andrew Kellaway, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua (co-captain), 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Esei Haangana, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr
Replacements: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Pone Fa’amaluli, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Brad Wilkin, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Andrew Deegan