The Force hosted the Rebels in a Super Rugby AU round 5 clash at Leichhardt Oval in NSW today. The Rebels scored the winning points with try two minutes into the Super Time after the sides were level at 20-20 at the end of regular time. The Force is still without a win in the 2021 Super Rugby AU while the Rebels moved into second place on the log with 10 points. The win today gave the Rebels their second win in a row after a much better performance against the Waratahs gave them a 29-10 win last weekend.
The first points of the game came after eleven minutes via a penalty by the Force. The Western Force dominated territory and possession for the first twenty minutes using their dominance in the scrums as well as the poor discipline of the Rebels to stay on the front foot.
The second quarter exploded into action with a try by the Western Force first followed by a try by the Rebels only minutes later to see the Force lead 10-07 with still eight minutes to go. A brilliant long-distance converted penalty by the Rebels levelled the score to 10-10 at halftime. The Force, however, still the "better" team on the pitch.
The Rebels started the second half a lot better but could only show a converted penalty for the first 15 minutes of territorial dominance. The last five minutes of the quarter again saw one try each scored by the sides which resulted in a 20-17 lead by the Rebels.
A converted penalty by the Force early in the fourth quarter once again levelled the score at 20-20 each. Reece Hodge's failed to convert his second long-distance penalty resulted in a ten minute Super Time to be played. The first side to score wins the game with the Super Time, limited to two halves of five minutes.
It took the Rebels two minutes in Super time to score a try to win 25-20. The Force deserved to win this very, very close game.
Western Force: Tries: Fergus Lee-Warner, Byron Ralston. Conversions: Jono Lance (2). Penalties: Jono Lance (2).
Rebels: Tries: Jordan Uelese, Matt Philip, Isi Naisarani. Conversions: Matt Toomua (2). Penalties: Reece Hodge.
The Force will have a bye next weekend while the Rebels will face the Brumbies.
Rebels: 1. Cameron Orr, 2. Jordan Uelese, 3. Jermaine Ainsley, 4. Esei Ha'angana, 5. Trevor Hosea, 6. Michael Wells, 7. Richard Hardwick, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Ryan Louwrens, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Billy Meakes, 13. Andrew Kellaway, 14. Tom Pincus, 15. Reece Hodge, Replacements: 16. Efi Ma'afu, 17. Cabous Elouff, 18. Pone Fa'amausili, 19. Matt Philip, 20. Rob Leota, 21. Brad Wilkin, 22. Frank Lomani, 23. Andrew Deegan.
Western Force: 1. Chris Heiberg, 2. Feleti Kaitu'u, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Fergus Lee-Warner, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Tevin Ferris, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior, 10. Jono Lance, 11. Marcel Brache, 12. Richard Kahui, 13. Kyle Godwin, 14. Byron Ralston, 15. Jack McGregor. Replacements: 16. Andrew Ready, 17. Pek Cowan, 18. Tom Sheminant, 19. Johan Bardoul, 20. Ollie Callan, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Henry Taefu, 23. Brad Lacey.