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Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force: Super Rugby Pacific live scores, blog

26th May, 2023
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Melbourne Rebels

52

Match Complete

Western Force

14

81
MEL52 : 14WES

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Roar Guru
26th May, 2023
354
3296 Reads

Melbourne Rebels

52

Match Complete

Western Force

14

R. Hodge77
V. Ekuasi76
R. Hodge74
N. Jooste73
R. Hodge69
L. Anderson67
60M. Burey
59S. Spink
R. Hodge57
R. Hardwick56
J. Kemeny47
R. Hodge34
S. Talakai33
R. Hodge19
B. Wilkin18
R. Louwrens10
5M. Burey
4S. Spink

8
Tries
2
6
Conversions
2
0
Penalty Goals
0
0
Field Goals
0

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The Rebels and Force lock horns at AAMI Park with big inclusions on both teams. Join The Roar for live scores and updates from 7.30pm AEST.

Simon Cron has made four changes to his match-day 23, including the long-awaited inclusion of Wallabies lock Izack Rodda off the bench. 

The 34-capped Wallaby re-joins the team after injuring his foot in the pre-season match against Fijian Drua.

Standing at 202cm, Rodda’s physicality will be welcomed against an impressive Rebels forward pack. He will come on in the second-row, where, ever consistent Jeremy Williams and dominant ball runner Felix Kalapu start the match. 

The front-row makeup is 21-year-old Siosifa Amone, who starts at tighthead prop, alongside Angus Wagner and Folau Fainga’a at hooker. 

But the Force have suffered a major blow with the loss of Test prop Tom Robertson to an ACL injury. The Wallabies’ stocks are already low with the injury to Angus Bell, and Robertson was ranked second only to James Slipper on The Roar’s most recent Wallabies power rankings.

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Izack Rodda. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Melbourne Rebels head coach Kevin Foote has made six changes for the Round 14 clash, in the home side’s final match at AAMI Park for 2023. 

Star flyhalf Carter Gordon returns for his 12th match of the season after overcoming a knee bruise, while milestone man Reece Hodge shifts back to 12 after covering in Gordon’s absence last week. 

Workhorse Josh Kemeny has also been recalled for his first match since Round 11, named alongside captain Brad Wilkin and Richard Hardwick in the back row, while Vaiolini Ekuasi will provide valuable second-half impact. 

Rising hooker Theo Fourie, has been named to make his Super Rugby debut.

After arriving at the club in 2020, Fourie has worked closely under the guidance of capped internationals Jordan Uelese and Rebels alumni James Hanson, and looms as a player to watch for the crucial clash. 

Rebel Sam Talakai, said the players were focused on putting in a strong performance for their loyal fans and celebrating teammate Reece Hodge’s spectacular achievement. 

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“Last week was really tough for us, but we reviewed hard and we’re now focused on this week and being composed in the big moments and turning those tight losses into wins,” said Talakai.

“The Force present a really tough opposition for us, especially defensively, so for us we’ve got to narrow the focus and bring what we have to the last home game and put on a good performance for ourselves, our family and friends, and for our awesome members and supporters.

“It’s a big occasion for the club with Hodgey as well. Reece is a special part of this group, and brings a wealth of experience. How he conducts himself day to day – he’s the ultimate professional and for us, we want to make the night extra special for him.”

Game Information

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick off time: 7.35pm AEST

Streaming: Stan Sport

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Betting: Rebels $1.40 Force $3.00 – odds via PlayUp

Teams

Rebels (1-15): Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese, Sam Talakai, Josh Canham, Matt Philip, Josh Kemeny, Brad Wilkin (c), Richard Hardwick, Ryan Louwrens, Carter Gordon, Monty Ioane, Reece Hodge, Lukas Ripley Lachie Anderson, Andrew Kellaway.

Replacements: Theo Fourie, Isaac Aedo Kailea, Pone Fa’amausili, Trevor Hosea, Vaiolini Ekuasi, James Tuttle, Nick Jooste, Joe Pincus.

Force (1-15): Angus Warner, Folau Fainga’a, Siosifa Amone, Felix Kalapu, Jeremy Williams, Michael Wells (c), Carlo Tizzano, Rahboni Vosayaco, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Max Burey, Manasa Mataele, Hamish Stewart, Sam Spink, Zach Kibirge, Chase Tiatia.

Replacements: Tom Horton, Marley Pearce, Bo Abra, Izack Rodda, Tim Anstee, Isi Naisarani, Ian Prior, George Poolman.

Referee: Dan Waenga.

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