Rebels off to winning start

RICHARD FERGUSON reports on the Rebels securing four points in the Super Rugby season opener.

The Rebels took advantage of the Force’s poor discipline to win 30 – 23 after trailing 10 – 11 at half time.

The Force got off to a fantastic start, running out an eleven point lead in the opening half hour of the game. With the amount of possession and territory the Force had, they would have been disappointed to only score one try through Alfie Mafi.

Scott Higginbotham was yellow carded on debut for punching and the Force managed to score 8 points with the one man advantage. Higginbotham returned to the field of play and helped push a rolling maul over the line, Ged Robinson falling on the ball.

There was a reverse of fortune in the second half as first Chris Alcock and then Alby Mathewson was yellow carded, the Force having to play with thirteen men for seven minutes. The Rebels used this advantage to score their third try through Richard Kingi and get a healthy lead, before the Force hit back with a try of their own while still being a man down, Richard Brown scoring the try.

The Force will be disappointed that they lost this match, their goal kicking and discipline costing them this match. On the contrary, James O’Connor converted all his kicks to score half the team’s points. The Force are still without a win in the opening round of a Super Rugby season.

This Australian derby was far from the dull and boring that we had to sit through in 2012 and is a positive start to the new season.