The Rebels snapped the Force's five-match winning streak when they won 22-16 in Melbourne.
The teams went into half-time locked at 6-6 following two penalties apiece from Jason Woodward and Sias Ebersohn. The South African flyhalf crucially dropped a pass four minutes before the break when the Force had taken the ball through 11 phases and created a three-on-two situation out wide. The Rebels, though, would have been more disappointed not to be ahead, having had 62% possession in the first half.
Two penalties from Woodward and one from Ebersohn gave the Rebels a 12-9 lead, which was extended on the 60-minute mark when Scott Higginbotham crashed over for a converted try.
Woodward then missed a penalty, but slotted one with five minutes to go.
The Force, though, did come away with a bonus point when Nick Cummins dotted down under the posts two minutes after the hooter and Zack Holmes kicked the simple conversion.
Rebels – Try: Scott Higginbotham. Conversion: Jason Woodward. Penalties: Woodward (5).
Force – Try: Nick Cummins. Conversion: Zack Holmes. Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (3).
Rebels – 15 Jason Woodward 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau,18 Paul Alo-Emilie,19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.
Force – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann,17 Tetera Faulkner ,18 Ollie Hoskins,19 Phoenix Battye, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
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