Australian Rugby News, 2021 Super Rugby AU Week 8: Top 3 players from the Melbourne Rebels v Western Force Game


Tim Anstee came off the bench on the blindside in the 48th minute. Having replaced Fergus Lee-Warner for the Western Force. He made a brilliant impact straight away. With great reading to look at the Melbourne Rebels weaknesses.

Each time the Rebels lost the ball Anstee took great care defensively. It has been the case tonight that helped his side win penalties. The same goes when the opposition were isolated up front. With square pegs all over the place. And Anstee was there to help his forwards take advantage of these mistakes. Before applying the physicality that kept them waiting. While the Western Force get to eat every Rebels inch with the ball on hand.

That is when Anstee was able to lend his hand in the attack. Alongside his forwards in a tug-o-war maul. They were pushed forward by Andrew Ready who was another sub. And did well to keep the drive straight. Then Ready made the Rebels turn sideways. Where it helped Anstee find that big of space. Got there past the Rebels danger zone for the winning TRY.

Sitaleki Timani

Another Force defensive player who put a great show is Sitaleki Timani. His team may have fired off slow during the first 40 run. The defensive setup was working without a doubt. In which was important for his reading. And the physical application. When the Rebels did not make their best chances in return. As Timani was able to steal the ball off them.

Force only made mistakes via the ill-discipline. It did hurt at times as reflected earlier on & most of their meetings. With the backline disjointed initially. Before Timani was able to push every inch of the Rebels territory. Where his side was finally settled after the break. The penalties were there to close in. Before he used that physical pack to push the Rebels sideways. And that helped his team-mate Tim Anstee execute the winning moment.

You got to credit him who is very experienced at lock. Alongside Jeremy Thrush who plays with Timani on the left hand side. He is also in the mid-30s bracket too. And it does benefit some of the youngsters like Tim Anstee. So once he & Thrush eventually retire. They can learn from them off by heart. Once they are ready to start regularly for the Force.

Lewis Holland

He did well on his first start in the Rebels midfield. Having helped out his forwards that held off one/two Force players to mark. That is how this side was able to get ahead early. Thanks to a couple of penalty goals converted as successful.

Lewis has both the physicality to run down the opposition half. As done in reverse to apply those blocks defensively. It shows that the Rebels gave him an chance to what he has got to offer. Especially when he played in the sevens circuit for a long time. And it taught him on how to be an all-rounder with some space. Which did test him once he moved into the XVs.

The passing was there as needed to keep this passage of play going. Where it was part of the foundations in this skillset. But there were lack of support runners that exposed the Rebels poor finishing. Very little hands up or difficulty maintaining ball. After there was long balls chucking popping up. And it is something that ultimately cost the game in the end. It is better to have close communication. So guys like Lewis can link up on the wide areas. Before the execution can be done.

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