Super Rugby

Melbourne Rebels beat Western Force in Perth




The Western Force have won their last two Super Rugby games against the Melbourne Rebels after having never previously won back-to-back games against the Victorians.

The Force, however, was defeated 10-7 in their last game as hosts against the Rebels in Round 4 of the 2021 Super Rugby AU season.

  • Seven of the eight previous Super Rugby games between the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels in Western Australia were decided by single-digit margins, with the Rebels picking up six wins (L2).
  • The Western Force have won only one of their last six Super Rugby matches against fellow Australian teams (L5), a 28-3
    victory against the Melbourne Rebels (Round 2 – 2022 Super Rugby Pacific).
  • The Rebels defeated Fijian Drua 42-27 in their most recent Super Rugby match (Round 6 – 2022 Super Rugby
    Pacific), snapping a 10-match losing run in the competition; they will be aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since March 2021.
  • Melbourne has made dominant contact on 28% of their total carries (175/618); no team has a higher rate in this category.
  • The Force has a goal-kicking accuracy of 90% on placekicks this campaign (26/29) – the best rate of any team, 17 percentage points more than the Rebels (73%).
  • The Western Australian’s scrum success rate of 83%, is the lowest of any team in the competition, and six percentage points fewer than the Victorians (89%).
  • The Rebels have a tackle success rate of 72%, the lowest of any team in the competition, six percentage points fewer than the Force (78%).

Players to watch

  • Manasa Mataele has crossed the gainline on 44 carries this season, the most of any back, the third-most by any player overall (Harry Wilson – 66 and Pita Sowakula – 45).
  • Matt Philip has made 12 offloads, the joint-most by any player (also Quinn Tupaea – 12), four more than Fergus Lee-Warner (8).

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1.00: PEEEP! We are under way at HBF Park, Perth.

3.00: An early scrum goes to the hosts, playing in their blue kit for what seems an age.

5.00: A linebreak down the touchline from the halfway to 22 by Bayley Kuenzle, ends with a poor pass by Kuenzle to Brynard Stander, who loses the ball into touch.

6.00: TRY! A driving maul goes nowhere, but the Rebels go wide to Jordan Uelese, who took Matt To’omua’s pop pass to score. The hooker slipped Andrew Ready’s tackle before beating Manasa Mataele to the line. 0-5

8.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 0-7

10.00: Western Force are back inside the Rebels’ 22; however, they give away a penalty after Tim Anstee’s side entry.

12.00: Lots of kicking going on as each side looks for field position to launch attacks. The breakdown is messy, but both teams are getting some quick ball, as we saw with the opening try.

13.00: PENALTY! Ready does not roll away after the tackle, To’omua calls for the tee, and drills the ball through the posts. 0-10

16.00: Both teams handling has been good, only three mistakes in the game. However, there has been a lot of messy scrums, and penalties at the breakdown, especially from the Force.

18.00: Another dominant scrum by the visitors sees them win another penalty; it is six to one in favour of the Rebels.

20.00: PENALTY! To’omua punishes Anstee for the second time after a nine-phase attack. 0-13

22.00: Kane Koteka’s loose pop-pass attempt is lost forward by the flanker to kill another decent attack on the opposition’s 22.

25.00: The Western Force have conceded seven penalties to one so far, and not making the Melbourne Rebels work for their points, while killing their own attacks.

28.00: YELLOW CARD! Kane Koteka, for a third infringement, is off for 10 minutes. 0-13

32.00: A thrilling counter-attack from their own 22 comes to nothing for the Force after Santiago Medrano overuns Ian Prior’s double-pump pass with the try line at his mercy.

35.00: More pressure comes to nothing for the hosts after a turnover clears the danger for the visitors.

36.00: A side entry at the breakdown leads to a kickable penalty for the home team; however, they kick to the corner. They need a score to get in this game.

37.00: Western Force loses their lineout, Rebels clear. The set pieces have been a disaster for Tim Sampson’s men.

38.00: TRY! Manasa Mataele finishes off a slick attacking move. Ian Prior went close except for Micheal Wells’ huge hit near the try line, but the ball got recycled to the Fijian Flyer, who beat Stacey Ili and dived in for a spectacular try. 5-13

38.00: YELLOW CARD! Matt To’omua is off for a dangerous tackle on Harrison Lloyd. 5-13

38.00: MISS! Prior drags his kick well wide. 5-13

40.00: Melbourne earn a kickable penalty. To’omua is off the field, but Reece Hodge steps up as the hooter sounds.

41.00: PENALTY! Hodge blasts the goal over the uprights. 5-16

The halftime score was Force 5 Rebels 16

41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway down under.

42.00: TRY! Manasa Mataele combines with Jake Strachan down the touchline before Strachan’s kick-chase opened up the space behind the three-quarters. The ball eluded Reece Hodge, who made a mess inside his in-goal area, which allowed Kyle Godwin to beat the defenders and touch down in the corner. 10-16

44.00: MISS! Prior misses again. 10-16

47.00: TRY! What a team try! A patient nine-phase attack, starting inside their own 22, saw the Force cut open the Rebels, and Brad Lacey dot down: Death by a thousand cuts. 15-16

49.00: MISS! Prior is having a mare. 15-16

50.00: To’omua is back on the field; however, the hosts scored with only five seconds remaining with the extra player… ouch!

52.00: RED CARD! Raymond Nu’u is sent off for a high tackle on Brynard Stander’s head. 15-16

55.00: PENALTY! Prior could not miss from in front. 18-16

60.00: MISS! To’omua pulls his kick wide. 18-16

63.00: A penalty from a collapsed lineout drive leads to more pressure on Foote’s side. Prior boots to the opposition’s 22, but does not find touch. A kicking duel ends with the hosts having another lineout, this time on the opposition’s 10m.

66.00: Greg Holmes concedes a penalty at the scrum.

68.00: PENALTY! To’omua, as it began to rain, lands the goal to edge his side in front. 18-19

70.00: A knock-on soon after restart leads to a Rebels’ scrum, which inturn, leads to a penalty.

71.00: PENALTY! Hodge smashes over the halfway line penalty. 18-22

73.00: Western Force win a kickable penalty after another offside.

75.00: PENALTY! Jake Strachan pulls three back. 21-22

77.00: Wells sells an outrageous dummy but cannot find Powell on his inside, and the chance to win the game there, is gone.

79.00: Melbourne have an attacking scrum by the 22.

81.00: The hooter sounds, the ball is booted out: Rebels win!


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The final score is Western Force 21 (5) Melbourne Rebels 22 (16)


Western Force
Tries – Mataele, Godwin, Lacey
Pen – Prior, Strachan
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Koteka (Yellow, 28′)

Melbourne Rebels
Tries – Uelese
Pen – To’omua (3), Hodge (2)
Con – To’omua
Drop –
Cards – To’omua (Yellow, 38′), Nu’u (Red, 52′)

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Kaminski
TMO: Kyle Burnett


Western Force: 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Brad Lacey, 13 Kyle Godwin (captain), 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Reesjan Pasitoa, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Tim Anstee, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Harrison Lloyd.

Replacements: 16 Feleti Kaitu’u, 17 Bo Abra, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 William Sankey, 20 Ollie Callan, 21 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Reece Tapine.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 Raymond Nu’u, 11 Glen Vaihu, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Michael Wells (captain), 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Brad Wilkin, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbon.

Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Rhys van Nek, 19 Josh Hill, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Carter Gordon, 23 George Worth.

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