The Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels have played each other 15 times in Super Rugby, the Force has only won four times, losing 11 games.
The Force has only won twice at home in Perth, losing eight times to the Rebels in Super Rugby competitions.
- All but one of the previous 15 Super Rugby games between the Western Force and Rebels have been decided by a single-digit margin on the day, with the Melbourne side picking up 11 wins in that period (L4).
- Western Force has lost all five of their home games in Super Rugby AU and scored an average of just nine points per game in that stretch.
- The Rebels have failed to score a try in their last two Super Rugby AU games; the last time any team went longer without scoring a try in Super Rugby was a three-game stretch for the Sharks in April 2013.
- Western Force’s Toni Pulu and Rebels’ Michael Wells have each crossed the gain line on nine of their 11 gain line carries this Super Rugby AU campaign, the joint-highest rate (82%) of any player to make at least 10 gain line carries this season.
- Fergus Lee-Warner (Western Force) has made a competition-high 18 carries per game this Super Rugby AU season and has also made 14.5 tackles per game, making him one of only two players (Fraser McReight) to have made 10+ carries and 10+ tackles per game this season.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway down under at HBF Park, Perth. Both teams have lost four of their last five Super Rugby AU matches. The Force managed their first win in four years of Super Rugby last weekend against the Waratahs in Sydney.
3.00: A good first scrum by the Force, who won the penalty. Reece Hodge boots to about 10m out from the goal-line.
6.00: Nothing comes from the attacking lineout; however, the visitors are camped inside the home team’s 22. Dave Wessels’ side cannot get out of their 22, but their early defending looks solid.
9.00: The penalties are mounting against the hosts. Cabous Eloff, the tighthead prop, tries to go quickly, but he was not on the mark. Rebels kick to the corner. Wessels’ side is under the pump, here.
10.00: NO TRY! Following a TMO review, Joshua Kemeny is ruled short of the line after a messy driving maul by the visitors. Because the flanker is short, the scrum goes to the hosts. 0-0
11.00: TIGHTHEAD! The Rebels pack forces the pressure, winning a rare tighthead before a Force player wins back possession, and is tackled into touch.
13.00: The Rebels botch their attacking lineout, the Force counter-attack from deep before losing possession inside the opposition’s half.
15.00: The opening quarter of an hour has been all Melbourne, but they cannot turn pressure into points. The Force wins a penalty, which allows them to kick deep into enemy territory, and set-up a rare attack.
16.00: Superb kicking by Rob Kearney. The fullback sees space behind the Rebels’ lines and pins a beautiful grubber to win a 50/22 for his side.
18.00: Nothing comes from the attacking lineout; instead, the visitors regain possession (from a lineout) and clear. Several phases later, Brynard Stander is beaten to the ball, conceding a pressure-relieving penalty.
19.00: Tim Sampson’s men win a kickable penalty, and will take a shot at goal.
21.00: MISSED PENALTY! Jake McIntyre slices his kick wide of the posts. 0-0
25.00: NO TRY! James Hanson knocks the ball on trying to score after Tom Pincus went close. Somehow, the Rebels win the scrum because Rob Kearney brought the ball back over the Force’s try-line to concede possession. Crazy.
27.00: TRY! Lachlan Anderson opens the scoring for the Rebels after Reece Hodge sends him away in the corner. Finally, the visitors manage to get over the line. 0-5
29.00: MISSED CONVERSION! Matt To’omua pushes his kick past the lefthand post. 0-5
32.00: Despite the discrepancy in territory and possession between the two sides, the Force are enjoying the better of the last 15 minutes, although, they are down by five,
35.00: Marika Koroibete is causing the opposition all sorts of problems with his angled running and slick offloading in the tackle. Koroibete has beaten three defenders and made one clean break on five runs. This time, however, the winger’s kick is over the try-line for a 22 drop-out.
37.00: The Force has an attacking lineout inside the opposition’s lineout.
38.00: Another overthrown lineout lets the visitors off the hook.
40.00: The Rebels win a penalty near their goal-line. Marika Koroibete saves the day after Joe Powell cleaned up the rolling ball following Byron Ralston’s chip-kick. the crowd does not like the call by the ref, booing him loudly.
41.00: The hooter sounds; however, the Force wins a penalty. Kearney steps up and bangs the ball into the Rebels’ 22. Can the hosts get their lineout functioning at the end of the half?
43.00: A 12-phase attack ends with the visitors winning a penalty after Michael Wells is caught offside. The Force goes to the corner.
44.00: NO TRY! The Force go short at the lineout, set-up the maul; but the Rebels pack holds firm, winning the turnover. 0-5
The halftime score was Western Force 0 Melbourne Rebels
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Western Australia.
43.00: Both teams have come out looking to play the percentages, they are kicking away the ball, but keeping it in the field of play as they try to force mistakes from the opposition.
46.00: Some substitutes enter the fray after Wells gets some attention for an injury.
49.00: Sampson’s side continues to eschew the points yet continues to also lose turnovers following not taking the points.
51.00: Tevita Kuridrani gives away a penalty at the breakdown, this time Matt To’omua calls for the tee.
53.00: MISSED PENALTY! To’omua’s kick hits the post and bounces out. The Force clear, giving the Rebels another attacking lineout on their 22.
56.00: It’s still all Melbourne Rebels, but the Victorians cannot find any holes in the solid Force defence.
58.00: Superb work by skipper Stander, who wins a crucial ruck-penalty near his goal-line.
62.00: TRY! Marika Koroibete breaks some tackles, races into the Force’s half before sending Joe Powell away for the score in the corner. 0-10
64.00: MISSED CONVERSION! To’omua is having a nightmare from the tee. 0-10
67.00: NO TRY! Western Force is held-up over the line. 0-10
69.00: TRY! Jack McGregor scores in the corner to halve the deficit. 5-10
70.00: RED CARD! Ross Haylett-Petty is off for a dangerous tackle in the build-up to the try. 5-10
70.00: CONVERSION! Prior slots the touchline kick. Game on! 7-10
73.00: The momentum has definitely shifted in favour of the hosts. They are camped near the Rebels’ goal-line and look like they believe they can get a first home win since 2017.
74.00: The floodlights have gone off in one part of the ground, so we have to wait and see what the issue is and if we can continue.
75.00: We are back after a long break. The officials decided that the game should continue despite some of the floodlights still being out.
77.00: Fergus Lee-Warner is stripped of the ball near the try-line –– oh, boy! Rebels clear.
78.00: The Force gets a penalty! Do they take the points or use their extra man and scrum?
79.00: The reset scrums are taking time off the clock.
81.00: Oh, dear! The Force gives away a scrum-penalty and the game. They should have taken the points.
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The final score is Western Force 7 (0) Melbourne Rebels 10 (5)
Tries – McGregor
Con – Prior
Tries – Anderson, Powell
Cards – R. Haylett-Petty (Red, 70′)
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Reuben Keane
Assistant Ref 2: Brett Cronan
TMO: Kyle Burnett
15 Rob Kearney, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Tevita Kuridrani. 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Brynard Stander (captain), 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Ryan McCauley, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Jack Winchester, 17 Angus Wagner, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Jack McGregor
15 Tom Pincus, 14 Lachlan Anderson, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Joshua Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Pone Faamausili, 2 James Hanson, 1 Cabous Eloff
Replacements: 16 Ed Craig, 17 Isaac Aedo Kailea, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Tom Nowlan 21 Glen Vaihu, 22 James Tuttle, 23 Frank Lomani