Force cruise to victory over Rebels in Super Rugby Women's season opener

March 15, 2024 11:04 pm

[Source: Western Force Rugby/Facebook]

Western Force winger Rosie McGehan has scored a double and dished off another to lead her side to a 36-12 Super Rugby Women’s win over the Melbourne Rebels at Perth’s HBF Stadium.

McGehan scored in the 27th and 50th minutes and dished off a clever pass while being tackled to set up outside centre Sheree Hume for the sealing try in the 67th minute.

The six-tries-to-two victory marked a perfect start to the season for the Force, who are aiming to make the finals for the first time.

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Fullback Aiysha Wigley kicked things off in the 11th minute when she was left unmarked in the left corner and squeezed her way over.

Flyhalf Nicole Ledington set up the second try in the 27th minute, drawing two defenders before offloading a pass for McGehan to cross.

But the best try of all came in the 38th minute when the Rebels attempted a counter-attack.

Force flanker Anneka Stephens produced a strong tackle to stop the Rebels in their tracks, and the ball slipped out to the waiting hands of Haylee Hifo.

The Force winger made the most of the good fortune, sprinting 40m to the line to extend the lead to 19-0.

But the Rebels didn’t go into the break empty-handed – thanks to a bit of ill-disciplined back chat to the referee from the Force.

The home side were penalised 10 metres, with the Rebels taking quick advantage by sending fullback Chanelle Kohika-Skipper over the line.

And when Rebels hooker Jayme Nuku barged over in the 43rd minute, the margin was back to seven points.

But it was all the Force from that point on, with a neat pass from skipper Trilleen Pomare setting up McGehan for the second, before McGehan turned provider for Hume.

Substitute Saelua Leaula added the icing with an 80th-minute try.

It was an impressive display for the revamped Force, whose starting XV featured 11 new players, including seven Super Rugby debutants.

“The tournament’s a sprint, so to get those bonus points, they’re really crucial,” Force coach Dylan Parsons said.

“To get one early just gives us a little bit of space there.”