Planet Rugby

Back-to-back wins for Rebels

20th May 2012 07:04

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Cooper Vuna taking it on for Rebels

Bonus-point try: Cooper Vuna

A late penalty from Kurtley Beale saw the Rebels claim a 32-31 victory over the Force on Sunday in a result that lifts them to third in their conference.

In a game that was 26-15 at the break in favour of the away side, the Force had fought their way back and were just three minutes away from victory.

But up stepped fly-half Beale from wide on the left to wipe off what had looked like being the winning penalty from Ben Seymour just moments before.

Beale was once again superb in the number ten jersey as the Rebels look a different team with him there instead of the departed Danny Cipriani.

His long, flat passes caused the Force ample problems early on while he also threw in line breaks for good measure in a performance that will have impressed Wallaby boss Robbie Deans.

The Rebels scored four tries in the first-half, with lock forward Cadeyrn Neville grabbing a brace, while captain Gareth Delve and wing Cooper Vuna also found their way to the whitewash.

However, the out-of-form Force responded from the hammering they took at the Sharks last weekend with tries from Fijian winger Napolioni Nalaga, number eight Ben McCalman and replacement Alfi Mafi to set up a grandstand finish.

When Force scrum-half Brett Sheehan kicked a long-range penalty with his last touch from the halfway line to make it 26-25 on the hour, it was then a case of a penalty shoot-out as Beale and Seymour traded blows before the star Wallaby landed the sucker punch.

The scorers:

For Western Force:
Tries: Nalaga, McCalman, Mafi
Con: Harvey, Seymour
Pen: Harvey, Seymour 2, Sheehan

For Melbourne Rebels:
Tries: Neville 2, Delve, Vuna
Con: Beale 3
Pen: Beale 2

Western Force: 15 David Harvey, 14 Samu Wara, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (capt), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Salesi Manu, 17 Elvis Taione, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Lachlan McCaffrey, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Winston Stanley, 22 Alfie Mafi.

Rebels: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (capt), 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Tim Davidson, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Jono Owen, 18 Al Campbell, 19 Hugh Perrett, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Stirling Mortlock, 22 James Hilgendorf.

Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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