The Rebels claimed a scrappy 21-17 victory against the Force in Perth on Friday, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
The result sees the Rebels notch successive away victories for the first time in their five-year history. It was also their seventh win in nine matches against the Force.
However, the Rebels were only slightly better than their opponents. Their ability to finish and the Force's lack thereof, saw them go 15-0 up with tries from Mike Harris and Dom Shipperley, and a conversion and penalty from Harris.
Poor captaincy also cost the Force in the first half, as Sam Wykes opted to go to the corner on three occasions instead of taking the points on offer. But that approach eventually paid off just before the break when scrumhalf Alby Mathewson took a quick tap and scored a try that reduced the deficit to eight.
Luke Burton kicked a penalty for the Force early in the second half, but two more penalties by Harris made it 21-10.
The Force scored a 75th-minute converted try through tighthead Tetera Faulkner, but were unable to get another that would have snatched victory.
Force – Tries: Alby Mathewson, Tetera Faulknner. Conversions: Luke Burton (2).
Rebels – Tries: Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley. Conversion: Harris. Penalties: Harris (3).
Force – 15 Luke Burton, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Solomoni Jnr Rasolea,11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Steve Mafi, 4 Sam Wykes (c), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Kane Koteka, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Sias Ebersohn, 23 Mitchell Scott.
Rebels – 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), Scott Fuglistaller (c), 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Steve Cummins, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Sefanaia Naivalu.
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images