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Super Rugby: Melbourne Rebels topple the Western Force
Scott Higginbotham's second-half try helped the Melbourne Rebels end the Western Force’s five-match winning run.
Australia international Higginbotham powered over from the base of a scrum on the hour-mark as the Rebels avenged their round four defeat to the Force by registering a 22-16 victory.
It was a disappointing, low-scoring affair dominated by the boot with Jason Woodward adding five penalties and a conversion for the Rebels.
Sias Ebersohn slotted over three penalties for the visitors, before Zack Holmes tagged on the extras to Nick Cummins’ injury time try.
It was only the third win of the season for the Rebels, who had come into the game on the back of defeats to the Highlanders and Chiefs.
"The scrum was fantastic and we really built on that," Higginbotham said.
"The boys had a tough time in New Zealand so to come back here and really put it on, it was good for them. It was time for us to get a win."
The Force, this season’s surprise package, had been targeting a sixth successive win to strengthen their play-off bid – however they never got going.
And only a try for Cummins after the final hooter had sounded meant they picked up a losing bonus point.
"They put pressure on our attack," said Force skipper Matt Hodgson said. "They played for the full 80 minutes, we were probably about 10 per cent off all night."
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com