Super Rugby
There's no place like home for Rebels
March 14, 2015
Force 21-30 Rebels (video available in Australia only)
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They've conquered Christchurch and Perth, but the Melbourne Rebels know they've got to take care of business at home if they're going to make an impact this Super Rugby season. The Rebels overcame a host of injuries to key players to beat the Western Force 21-17 in enemy territory on Friday night.

It followed their shock round-one win over the Crusaders in New Zealand. In between those games, the Rebels lost to the Brumbies and Waratahs at home in tight affairs. The Rebels will be back in action on Friday night when they host the Lions in Melbourne.

A win there would give the Rebels a 3-2 record heading into a tough clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington. The Rebels have shown marked improvement this season, but coach Tony McGahan said it was too early to start talking about the possibility of finals.

"We're not laden with international players who have been doing it for a long time who can set long-target goals," McGahan said. "We are really just a week-to-week proposition, and that's how we're approaching it. For us to get a win against the Force after two close defeats, it grows confidence. It gives them direction that they're going the right way."

The Rebels have several injury concerns heading into the Lions clash. Fly-half Jack Debreczeni was carried off against the Force after twisting his right knee, while co-captain Scott Fuglistaller (dislocated finger), and lock Lopeti Timani (concussion) will also need to be assessed.

The Force's finals hopes are already hanging by a thread after their fourth straight loss left them with a 1-4 record. And it doesn't get any easier for the Perth-based franchise, who face off against the Bulls (Pretoria) and Sharks (Durban) over the next fortnight..

Prop Ollie Hoskins appears set to miss the trip with a shoulder injury, but the Force are hopeful Pek Cowan (shoulder) will be able to front up.

The Force trailed the Rebels 15-0 after just 33 minutes. A week earlier against the Brumbies, the Force made a similarly slow start that also proved costly in the end result. Coach Michael Foley has been impressed by his side's second-half showings in recent weeks, but he said they needed to come out firing from the start if they are to turn their fortunes around.

"We haven't got anything we haven't deserved," Foley said. "The outcomes of games that we've had have largely been down to the mistakes we've made."


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