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By Force Media Unit
The Melbourne Rebels have claimed a seven-point victory over the Emirates Western Force in Perth tonight, taking the match 30-23 – an identical scoreline to the two sides’ Week One encounter.
While the home side enjoyed its share of attacking possession and crossed for three tries with another disallowed, it was unable to make up the eventual difference, taking only a bonus point from the to-and-fro encounter.
Emirates Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley said he was disappointed that tonight’s performance did not build on the development the side had shown in its earlier matches.
“That was a game that we could have won,” he said. “Up until this point we’ve had some results that haven’t gone our way but the shape of the game for us has been much, much better previously.
“We’re very disappointed with that performance; within the vicinity of 20 turnovers in that match makes it very, very hard for you to build pressure and ultimately we got pipped.
“There was times out there that we could have got other points and I think had we got away with the result tonight, I’d still feel the same way. I don’t think that was a performance consistent with anything we’ve done this year.”
While the Force controlled possession through the opening exchanges, it was the Rebels that hit the scoreboard first with a James O’Connor penalty goal and tries to Hugh Pyle and Jason Woodward opening up a 15-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The home side appeared to have responded when outside centre Winston Stanley put Hugh McMeniman in down the left wing, only for TMO Matt Goddard to adjudge that McMeniman had knocked on in the act of grounding the ball.
The Force crossed in earnest 13 minutes later when captain Matt Hodgson overlooked a simple shot at goal to drag his team back in to the match. The risk was rewarded with Stanley diving over in the corner two phases later to open the Force’s account.
While his conversion faded across the goal face, Sias Ebersohn landed two penalty goals late in the half to bring the deficit to four points, going into the break at 15-11.
The Rebels restored some breathing space nine minutes into the new term when winger Richard Kingi charged onto a short O’Connor pass to score, with the Melbourne fullback landing a 58th-minute penalty goal for a 23-11 lead.
The Force sparked to life on the hour mark when fullback Will Tupou leapt over for his first Super Rugby try, while a neat Stanley grubber six minutes later allowed winger Pat Dellit to slide in behind the defence for his maiden provincial five-pointer, levelling the scores at 23-all.
With both sides eyeing off a much-needed win, it was the speed of man-of-the-match Woodward that settled the score when he kicked through and beat the converging defence to touch down for the final converted try of the evening.
While the Force battled away in the dying minutes for the draw, it was unable to bridge the gap and will return to nib Stadium next Saturday (13 April) to take on the Crusaders.
2013 Super Rugby – Week 8
Saturday, 6 April 2013 at nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 4.40pm (local)
Rebels 30 (Jason Woodward 2, Richard Kingi, Hugh Pyle tries; James O'Connor 2/4 conversions; James O'Connor 2/3 penalties) defeated Emirates Western Force 23 (Winston Stanley, Patrick Dellit, Will Tupou tries; Kyle Godwin 1/2, Sias Ebersohn 0/1 conversions; Sias Ebersohn 2/4 penalties)
Emirates Western Force
1. Kieran Longbottom, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Salesi Ma’afu, 4. Toby Lynn, 5. Hugh McMeniman, 6. Angus Cottrell, 7. Matt Hodgson (c), 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 11. Alfie Mafi, 12. Kyle Godwin, 13. Winston Stanley, 14. Patrick Dellit, 15. Will Tupou. Res: 16. Ben Whittaker, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Sam Wykes, 19. Chris Alcock, 20. Mick Snowden, 21. Sam Christie, 22. Sam Norton-Knight
Coach: Michael Foley
1. Nic Henderson, 2. Ged Robinson, 3. Paul Alo-Emile 4. Hugh Pyle, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Luke Jones, 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 8. Scott Higginbotham, 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Angus Roberts, 11. Richard Kingi, 12. Rory Sidey, 13. Mitch Inman, 14. Jason Woodward, 15. James O’Connor. Res: 16. Shota Horie, 17. Laurie Weeks, 18. Jordy Reid, 19. Jarrod Saffy, 20. Nic Stirzaker, 21. Tom English, 22. Cooper Vuna
Coach: Damien Hill
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Mike Fraser
By the clock
Min Details Score
8 Hugh Pyle Try 0-5
9 James O'Connor Missed Con 0-5
13 James O'Connor Penalty Goal 0-8
16 Sias Ebersohn Missed PG 0-8
18 Jason Woodward Try 0-13
20 James O'Connor Conversion 0-15
33 Winston Stanley Try 5-15
34 Sias Ebersohn Missed Con 5-15
39 Sias Ebersohn Penalty Goal 8-15
40 Sias Ebersohn Penalty Goal 11-15
45 Sias Ebersohn Missed PG 11-15
49 Richard Kingi Try 11-20
51 James O'Connor Missed Con 11-20
58 James O'Connor Penalty Goal 11-23
59 Will Tupou Try 16-23
60 Kyle Godwin Conversion 18-23
66 Pat Dellit Try 23-23
68 Kyle Godwin Missed Con 23-23
69 Jason Woodward Try 23-28
71 James O'Connor Conversion 23-30
80 James O'Connor Missed PG 23-30
The Western Force return to NIB Stadium for the second time this season and the Honey Badger wants sea of blue fans to “get your carcass on the chair”! In 2014 the Force had a slow start to the season, before finishing off strongly, and they will be hoping for a repeat after winning just one of their opening four matches this season!
The Queensland Reds are struggling with injury and form at present, and they’ve been handed another massive blow this weekend with James O’Connor (leg) & Lachie Turner (concussion) being ruled out. Suffering a 23-5 loss to the NSW Waratahs on the weekend, the Reds will run onto Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night looking to turn their season around after just one win to their name in the opening four rounds coming against the Western Force two weeks ago!