Planet Rugby

Rebels win Perth thriller

02nd April 2011 11:46

Share:

force v rebels

Try-time: Gerrard scores for Rebels

The Rebels made it back-to-back wins for the first time in Super Rugby after upsetting the Western Force 26-25 in an entertaining spectacle in Perth.

It was also the tournament newbies' first away win, which sees them leapfrog the Force and Brumbies into third spot on the Australian Conference standings.

The Force stormed into a seven-point lead inside five minutes after lock Sam Wykes finished off a superb - and now almost characteristic - break from James O'Connor.

The Force pivot ran 45m before hooker Nathan Charles took the pass and looked to be in for the opener, only to fall short of the whitewash.

Wykes was in support though, and merely had to pick up the placed ball from Charles and flop over for his first Super Rugby try.

Charles wouldn't be denied five minutes later though after crashing over after running a good angle off an O'Connor pass that took the home side 12-0 in front - O'Connor missed the conversion.

Rebels fly-half Danny Cipriani and O'Connor traded penalties between them (15-3), but the remainder of the half belonged to the visitors.

First full-back Mark Gerrard crossed over in the corner courtesy of some Cipriani magic with ball in hand - the former Wallaby star's celebrations were cut short though after receiving a dubious yellow card for a high tackle on David Smith.

Down to 14 men, the Rebels pressed on with two more Cipriani penalties to cut the Force's lead to a single point (15-14) heading into the break.

O'Connor got his team out of the second half starting blocks first with his second successful penalty goal of the match in the 47th minute, however the Rebels responded with an intercept try to lock and man-of-the-match Hugh Pyle.

Cameron Shephered did all the hard work winning a high ball, but his skip pass was taken in by the Rebels' man-mountain who showed deceptive pace to race in 30m untouched besides the posts.

Cipriani made no mistake from bang in front - his one and only successful conversion - that gave the Rebels the lead for the first time in the match (18-21).

The Rebels couldn't believe their luck when, three minutes later, Cipriani was lining up another conversion attempt after winger Richard Kingi touched down in the left-hand corner.

It was a cheeky try from the visitors and the Force will be kicking themselves for taking their eye off what seemed like a standard Cipriani penalty. However, the Englishman never pointed to the posts, and instead put in a cross-kick for Kingi to simply catch and go over.

The Perth crowd's silence said it all. In the end, it was quite a masterstoke from the former England number 10. The touchline conversion was missed, but the Rebels were on course for another upset win in 2011. Could they hang on?

The Force gave their home support a glimmer of hope when Rory Sidey went flying in for a converted try under the sticks to bring the score to a one-point ball game.

And when O'Connor had a chance to put his side in front with a penalty three minutes from the end, it seemed the Western Force golden boy wouldn't miss - but he did. The Rebels hung on for what must have felt like an eternity to win the match and a few more fans.

The scorers:

For Force:
Tries: Wykes, Charles, Sidey
Cons: O'Connor 2
Pens: O'Connor 2

For Rebels:
Tries: Gerrard, Pyle, Kingi
Con: Cipriani
Pens: Cipriani 3

The teams:

Western Force: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Alfie Mafi, 13 Nick Cummins, 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 David Smith, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Richard Brown, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Whittaker, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Tom Hockings, 19 Tevita Metuisela, 20 James Stannard, 21 Matt Brandon, 22 Pat Dellit.

Rebels: 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 Richard Kingi, 13 Lachlan Mitchell, 12 Stirling Mortlock (c), 11 Luke Rooney, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Kevin O'Neill, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Hugh Pyle, 19 Tim Davidson, 20 Sam Cordingley, 21 Peter Betham, 22 Afusipa Taumoepeau.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

By Dave Morris

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615