Super Rugby: Melbourne beats Western Force 22-16
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Wallabies back-rower and Melbourne captain Scott Higginbotham’s try off the back of a scrum helped the Rebels to a 22-16 win over the Western Force, ending the Perth-based side’s five-match winning streak on Friday.
The Rebels, in last place in the Australian conference, won for only the third time in eight matches and after consecutive close losses to the Highlanders and Chiefs in New Zealand.
“The boys had a tough time in New Zealand, and we’ve done a lot of work on our scrum this week,” Higginbotham said.
The Force, who beat the Rebels 32-7 in Perth in the fourth round, were trying to win in Melbourne for the first time since 2011.
Winger Nick Cummins scored a try for the Force after the siren sounded to give them a bonus point for finishing within seven points.
Force captain and flanker Matt Hodgson said the Rebels “came out firing.”
“They put pressure on our attack,” Hodgson said. “They played for the full 80 minutes, we were probably about 10 percent off all night.”
Melbourne 22 (Scott Higginbotham try; Jason Woodward conversion, 5 penalties), Western Force 16 (Nick Cummins try; Zack Holmes conversion, Sias Ebersohn 3 penalties). HT: 6-6.