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Rebels roar home to down Force in Super Round

3 minute read

Melbourne have scored four unanswered second-half tries, including two from Filipo Daugunu, to come from behind and secure a 48-34 win over the Western Force.

Carter Gordon has pushed aside his Rugby World Cup disappointment to help the Melbourne Rebels secure a rousing 48-34 Super Rugby Pacific victory over Western Force.

Gordon and fullback-cum-wing Andrew Kellaway orchestrated a second-half revival at AAMI Park on Friday night, with the Rebels scoring four unanswered tries.

As well as bagging a try himself, the classy No.10 had a hand in most of the Rebels' five-pointers while Kellaway scored twice in the first half to keep the home side in the game, trailing 24-19 at halftime.

Ex-Reds winger Filipo Daugunu also showed his athleticism to cross for a double in the second half for a morale-boosting victory for the financially-stricken club, whose future in the competition remains in doubt.

Other former Queensland players, prop Taniela Tupou and lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, also put in big shifts to no doubt catch the eye of new Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt, who was in the stands.

Melbourne coach Kevin Foote said Gordon had quickly put aside any World Cup woes, when he was demoted from starting five-eighth for the Wallabies in France.

"Carter's he's been incredible," Foote said.

"'Kells' (Kellaway) supported him really well from the back, so that combination is vital for us.

"Carter hasn't come back with anything from the World Cup - he's obviously quite a stoic guy and he just wants to crack on to rugby now."

Both teams entered Super Round at AAMI Park after first-round losses, with the cash-strapped Rebels also playing for their future off the field.

The Rebels' lineout was again problematic, losing four in the first half, but their forwards otherwise aimed up after criticism about them being "soft" following their first-round performance.

Kellaway was first on the scoreboard in the eighth minute with a scything run from inside his own half.

He then closed the margin with his second try seven minutes after the halftime siren.

Kellaway combined with halves James Tuttle and Gordon on the short side off a dominant scrum to dot down.

The Force answered early in the second half, with a Ben Donaldson penalty and then a try by Force back-rower Michael Wells in the 49th minute pushing their lead out to 34-19.

But, from there, it was all the Rebels, who scored 29 unanswered points.

The substitutes, led by halfback Ryan Louwrens, fired up the troops and Josh Kemeny and Gordon both scored - the latter taking an intercept from a Donaldson pass.

"We needed that one," Kellaway said.

"it was scrappy but we will take it. It's certainly a step in the right direction.

"Our bench was fantastic. They came on and made an immediate impact."

Force coach Simon Cron was disappointed with how his team let the game slip away.

"We just gave them tries - through an intercept, dropping a high ball, we just let them back in the game," he said.

"There's a few things there we need to work on.

"The last 25 minutes was probably a mindset, where guys went a bit quiet and we went into our shell a little bit."

Loosehead prop Ryan Coxon, who was called into the starting side after injury and suspension, was stretchered off the field but Cron said he'd been cleared of serious injury.

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