Foley: Rebels prevented us from getting momentum

Western Force coach Michael Foley has admitted that his team failed to match a desperate Rebels team at the breakdown and scrum in their 22-16 loss in Melbourne.

The Rebels brought an end to the Force’s five match winning streak which is the club’s longest ever run of victories since they joined Super Rugby in 2006.

Foley said that particularly in the first half of the match they were unable to match the Rebels intensity.

The Force did however manage to keep in touch with their hosts and the scores were level 6 all at half time.

“We weren’t able to get enough momentum in the early stages of the game and that took its toll in the back stages,” he said.

“We had to do a lot of work than what we should have to make up for the things we weren’t doing proactively,” he said.

He said his team, who host the Bulls next round, weren’t looking for excuses such as the mental and physical drain of their winning run.

“There might be mitigating factors but we have to overlook those and know we could have done better.”

Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham said that the win was overdue after a run of close losses, including to the champion Chiefs last round.

Higginbotham praised the Rebels scrum laying the platform which was made all the more impressive after losing starting prop Laurie Weeks 16 minutes in with concussion.

“The scrum was fantastic and we really built on that,” Higginbotham said after the match.

“The boys had a tough time in New Zealand so to come back here and really put it on, it was good for them.

“It was time for us to get a win.”

Rebels coach Tony McGahan was also delighted his team had finally been rewarded.

“They’ve trained really well and have had a tremendous attitude and, against a good Force side, we got the fruits of the last three weeks,” he said.

McGahan said that he was not concerned about his team’s inability to pull away from the Force in the first half as he knew that the workload the Force had to endure in that half would count against the visitors as the clock wound down.

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