Tomorrow night focuses on last week winner v Tahs in Western Force. They are back home for the 2nd time this season in Perth. Their opponents will be the Melbourne Rebels who yet to win so far.
Last year the Rebels won both meetings v Force. With the 2nd game they face in Round 10 last year was so close. Rebels able to escape them unscathed by a four-point victory 34-30. That moment helped them reach the Playoff final for the first time. Rebels went on to lose though v Reds 25-13. And ended up 3rd overall.
As said a bit earlier the Force did not win v Force in both games. Despite being four-points short in the 2nd meeting. They may have come back here again off a win v Waratahs last week. But Force have yet to win v Rebels since R16 7 July 2017, 31-22.
Tom Robertson partners with Santiago Medrano in the props. Alongside Felati Kaitu’u as the starting hooker/throw-in.
Jeremy Thrush stays in the second row/lock at No.4. But will have a new man in Ryan McCauley. With Fergus Lee-Warner taking the blindside flanker role at 6. He will replace Tim Anstee who did well last week v Waratahs. Just not in tomorrow with no explanation after being left out.
Kane Koteka retains as openside flanker at 7. Before Skipper Brynard Stander rounds off the Force forwards pack at 8.
Tomas Cubelli starts at half-back alongside Jake McIntyre. Where Jake will play in a playmaker role. Toni Pulu out for Marcel Brache. As Byron Ralston retains on the right wing. So does Richard Kahui & Tevita Kuridrani in the middle. And Rob Kearney rounds off as No15/full-back.
Jack Winchester in for the suspended Andrew Ready at hooker. Angus Warner & Greg Holmes in the props. Sitaleki Timani at lock. Tomas Lezana can fill at flanker/No8. Ian Prior in scrum-half. Henry Taefu at reserve fly-half. And Jack McGregor completes the Force bench at utility back.
Cabous Eloff & Pone Faamasulli in the props. Pone recovered from a nasty tackle from Allan Alaalatoa last week v Brumbies. James Hanson still starting as hooker. With Jordan Uelese out for another two weeks due to injury from R2.
Ross Haylett-Petty & Trevor Hosea retain their roles at lock. So does Josh Kemeny & Richard Harvick in the flanker roles. As Michael Wells rounds off the Rebels forwards unit. He will play at Number 8.
Joe Powell starts at 9 alongside skipper Matt Toomua in 1st five-eighth. Marika Koroibete & Lachie Anderson at their respective wing roles. Reece Hodge & Stacey Ili in the middle. And Tom Pincus will complete the Rebels starting XV.
Ed Craig behind James Hanson at reserve hooker. Issac Aedo Kailea & Lucio Sordoni as the reserve props. Steve Cummins in second row. Glen Vaihu in the utility backline. James Tuttle behind Joe Powell at half-back. With the Rebels yet to name their 2nd choice loose forward & back.
It will be a great game to watch with the Force playing at home again. One win is there away in Sydney. But satisfying their home crowd would be the next step up.
Their attack was brilliant last week with great passage of play. Especially from their forward pack who communicated very well. Before finding the finishing which helped reduce the pressure defensively. Just need to watch their discipline if the Force are to win again.
While the Rebels may have yet to win this season. Despite two near chance wins against their way. Can they go one better?
They got a great defense who can make up winning penalties. And send Toomua to strike within the sticks. Which happens all the time. That is a strength the Rebels possess. But they just needed their backline to help execute. And it would help connect that 2nd half run to win games.
If I was to decide between the Force & Rebels. Considering both of them possess plenty of International & Super Rugby expertise. But the Rebels would come off good this time & win by seven points.