Rebels inflict Force's first World Series loss

International
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Rebels are the first visitors to clinch a World Series Rugby clash in Perth, beating the Force 28-12 in a gruelling, soggy encounter.

Running around in torrential rain, neither side was at its silky best, but the Rebels looked more composed at critical times in the game.

The Force, playing just their third game in 2018, showed some fight and plenty of passion in their first clash with an Australian side in the tournament.

It was the Force who scored first, through hooker Harry Lloyd, after back-to-back scrums, and the hosts had the early lead.

The Western Force and rebels go head-to-head in Perth. Photo: Getty ImagesSparks flew between the sides, with the teams engaging in plenty of push and shove encounters through the clash, showing the meaning of the match to both sides.

Henry Hutchison was on fire for the Rebels, making the most of his first chance in months to don the Rebels jumper, creating a break in attack and setting up the first Rebels try for Jack Debreczeni.

The Rebels looked superior in open space, but those opportunities were few and far between in the early stages.

Rebels centre BIlly Meakes finished off some strong scrum work from Melbourne to add a second for the Rebels in the 38th minute.

The rain only got heavier as the second half wore on, with things regressing into a scrap for both teams.

Rebels flyhalf Tayler Adams had a solid night off the boot and the playmaker added to that with a long-range intercept try in the 53rd minute, as Melbourne began to take real control of the match.

The Force hit back through Fergus Lee-Warner, keeping themselves in the game as the time ticked over, but they couldn’t draw blood.

Hutchison went into try-scoring range again, setting up another Rebels score, through Andrew Tuala, before a yellow card for Michael Ruru put the visitors a man down.

That advantage put the Force in dangerous territory in the final five minutes, but some misjudged cross-field kicks cost them that field position and a chance to narrow the gap.

The Force take on the Crusaders in their next World Series Rugby match on Friday June 22, kicking off at 6:30pm local, 8:30pm AEST, while the Rebels take on the Waratahs in their next Super Rugby match in three weeks' time.

RESULT

Force 12

Tries: Lloyd, Lee-Warner

Rebels 28

Tries: Debreczeni, Meakes, Adams, Tuala

Cons: Adams 4

Yellow Card: Ruru (75’)