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Rebels seal dramatic extra-time win over valiant Force

Melbourne’s difficulties multiplied when Naisarani was sent to the sin bin, and shortly after the Force were able to capitalise. From a line-out and a driving maul the Force pack had too much power and Fergus Lee-Warner was able to go over for a try. Lance converted to give the Perth-based side a 10-0 lead.

Even though they were a man down, the Rebels managed to get back into the contest, scoring a try from a line-out, some slick passes setting up Jordan Uelese to score in the corner, Cameron Orr providing the final assist with some excellent handling.

When Matt Toomua converted the Force’s lead had been cut to just three points and just on the stroke of half-time the Victorians did get back on level terms thanks to a long-range penalty from Reece Hodge.

Matt Toomua of the Rebels on the run on Friday night.

Matt Toomua of the Rebels on the run on Friday night.Credit:Getty Images

The Force’s Jeremy Thrush went into the sin bin just after the second half restarted and that gave the Rebels a chance they had been looking for.

They got their noses in front for the first time when Toomua converted a 52nd-minute penalty but just as the Rebels had made light of their numerical disadvantage, so did the Force, with Byron Ralston getting on the end of a series of passes to put them back in the lead.

The scores see-sawed thereafter. But with the sides locked at 20-20 and five minutes remaining Lance missed a golden opportunity to put the Force in the driving seat when he sent a penalty wide, ensuring the dramatic extra-time finale.

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