Fiji Time: 12:06 PM on Wednesday 8 July

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / Sport

Melbourne Rebels crushed by Western Force

AAP
Sunday, March 09, 2014

Update: 7:16AM THE Melbourne Rebels were brought crashing back to earth in brutal fashion on Saturday night with a shock 32-7 Super Rugby loss to the Western Force in Perth.

The Rebels had been irresistible in last week's 35-14 demolition of the Cheetahs, while the Force looked set for a long season after being thumped by the Waratahs and Brumbies in their opening two games.

But the Force turned things around in dramatic style, scoring four tries in the opening 27 minutes on the way to the bonus-point victory in front of 9895 fans.

The Rebels were held scoreless until substitute Telusa Veainu scored a belated try after the fulltime siren.

The win lifted the Force off the bottom of the table, and snapped their four-game losing streak against the Rebels.

Skipper Matt Hodgson scored a try in his 100th match for the Force, while flanker Angus Cottrell, former Reds winger Luke Morahan and scrumhalf Alby Mathewson also scored.

The Force led 32-0 at halftime, with scrumhalf Mathewson key to the early onslaught.

The Rebels were beaten in nearly every aspect of the game, with the Force enjoying 75 per cent possession in the opening 30 minutes.

Rebels coach Tony McGahan made a surprising six changes to his starting line-up, and the mass changes backfired badly as the Force took control from the outset.

Mathewson started the riot in the second minute when he sold the dummy to Rebels lock Caderyn Neville before strolling over.

Hodgson's bravery then set up the second try, with the former Wallaby launching himself at a high ball to open the door for Morahan to cross.

And the inspirational skipper had a try for himself in the 24th minute when he pounced on a lucky bounce.

The four-try bonus point was in the bag by the 27th minute when Rebels flyhalf Angus Roberts dropped a high ball, allowing Cottrell to cross a few phases later.

McGahan had seen enough by that point, dragging prop Max Lahiff and lock Neville from the field in a desperate bid to spark his side.

Flyhalf Bryce Hegarty was also thrown into the fray at halftime and the changes paid dividends as the Rebels stemmed the flow.

However, it was too little, too late as the Force cruised to their first win of the year to celebrate Hodgson's milestone in grand style. 





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
JPY 59.037256.0372
GBP 0.30820.3002
EUR 0.43330.4213
CNY 2.98302.8830
NZD 0.72400.6910
AUD 0.64420.6192
USD 0.47920.4622

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 8th July 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Death shocks many
  2. Less days, longer hours
  3. Families receive $240k in payout
  4. In winning form
  5. Ratu Jope Seniloli's final journey home
  6. Call for mobile network
  7. Nine-men Tahiti holds Fiji U23
  8. 209,045 students benefit from State grant
  9. Woman, 45, fronts court over expatriate's death
  10. Drop in cane crop

Top Stories this Week

  1. Expat dies in accident Tuesday (07 Jul)
  2. 'Please do not give' Thursday (02 Jul)
  3. Lal remains in exile Thursday (02 Jul)
  4. Born to run, Naholo's sacrifice pays off Monday (06 Jul)
  5. 7s exodus Friday (03 Jul)
  6. Stay out Saturday (04 Jul)
  7. Gay marriages not a 'priority' Friday (03 Jul)
  8. Nasi Dredre Ga: Story behind the song Tuesday (07 Jul)
  9. Lucky escape Thursday (02 Jul)
  10. 15s debut Tuesday (07 Jul)