Force expecting nail-biting Rebels clash
The Western Force will rekindle their intense Super Rugby rivalry with the Melbourne Rebels when they clash at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney’s inner-west on Friday night.
The two teams have faced each other on 13 occasions since 2011, with all but two of those encounters having a winning margin of just seven points or less.
Force’s first victory came in 2011 when they triumphed 27-24 in Melbourne thanks to a memorable long-range penalty from flyhalf Willie Ripia two minutes from full-time.
The Force scored their second and biggest-ever victory over the Rebels in 2014, running in four tries to one for a controlled 32-7 win on home soil. A third win over the Rebels came in the 2015 season when they edged their rivals 13-11 in a tight match-up at AAMI Park.
In their last Super Rugby meeting, the Force recorded a 31-22 victory in Perth in a fiery 2017 fixture.
The Force will be looking to recapture the spirit that carried them to victory on that evening as they overturned a 14-15 half-time deficit to lead 31-15 within 13 minutes of the restart. The nine-point margin represents their second biggest win over the Rebels.
The closeness of the rivalry between them is embodied by the fact that they have each scored 34 tries in 13 previous encounters, with just a solitary point separating them in total points scored since 2011, the Force shading the Rebels by 308 points to 307.
Tim Sampson’s squad will face a confident Rebels outfit in Round 5, with the Melbourne-based side been buoyed by its 29-10 win over the Waratahs in Sydney last week.
The Force have given a strong indication of their potential in their first 3 Super Rugby AU matches, and are looking for an 80-minute performance where they can sustain pressure and make their advantage count.
If history is anything to go by, fans are set for another nail-biting and fiercely contested Super Rugby clash.
The Force take on the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night at Leichhardt Oval from 5:05pm (AWST), live on Fox Sports and Kayo.
Grab your tickets from Ticketmaster here.
Western Force vs Rebels 2011 – 2017
P W L D PF PA TF TA
13 4 9 0 308 307 34 34
7 July 2017: Western Force 31 Rebels 22 in Perth
29 May 2016: Rebels 27 Western Force 22 in Melbourne
27 February 2016: Western Force 19 Rebels 25 in Perth
12 June 2015: Rebels 11 Western Force 13 in Melbourne
13 March 2015: Western Force 17 Rebels 21 in Perth
18 April 2014: Rebels 22 Western Force 16 in Melbourne
8 March 2014: Western Force 32 Rebels 7 in Perth
6 April 2013: Western Force 23 Rebels 30 in Perth
15 February 2013: Rebels 30 Western Force 23 in Melbourne
20 May 2012: Western Force 31 Rebels 32 in Perth
23 March 2012: Rebels 30 Western Force 29 in Melbourne
17 June 2011: Rebels 24 Western Force 27 in Melbourne
2 April 2011: Western Force 25 Rebels 26 in Perth