Rebels are looking to halt the Force's streak Source: Getty Images/heraldsun.com.au
Rebels v Force
Friday April 18 – 7:40pm (AEST)
What did they do last week?
The Rebels were gutsy but went down 22-16 to defending champs the Chiefs on the road. The Force made it five wins on the trot with an upset 28-16 win over the Waratahs.
Things you need to know:
The Rebels' injury list includes flanker Scott Fuglistaller (shoulder), loose forward Lopeti Timani (knee). Lachlan Mitchell and Tom Sexton are out for the season with knee injuries. The Rebels have won two-of-seven this season to sit last in the Aussie conference and 13th overall.
The Force have been hit hard by injuries. Scrumhalf Alby Mathewson (ankle) and winger Luke Morahan are expected to miss. Fullback Jayden Hayward was a late scratching last week due to personal reasons and is in doubt again. Prop Pek Cowan (leg) and lock Sam Wykes (ribs) both failed to finish the Waratahs clash and are in doubt. Hooker Nathan Charles was hospitalised after the historic win over the Tahs but is a chance to play. Hugh McMeniman (collarbone), flanker Chris Alcock (shoulder) and centre Solomoni Rasolea (broken arm) are already sidelined.
Reason to watch:
Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins. We don't have to tell you why. Just watch him play, listen to his post-match interview and laugh along with the great man.
Reason to turn away: The Force's injury toll and the fact the Rebels always lift at home should make for an interesting clash. Don't turn away, you might miss some Honey Badger magic.
"It's not always about what the names are, but (more) the feeling and the attitude the culture. Sometimes it's just the mind - if you get that right, everyone performs together. There's been some dark times, some medieval times early on but we've come good now. The culture has changed a little bit here, which has brought on belief and a feeling of belonging. Everyone's buying into it. That's what's helping us," – The Honey Badger.
The Force are in uncharted waters having won five games in a row for the first time in their history. They thumped the Rebels 32-7 earlier this season to snap a four-game losing streak against the men from Melbourne and start their winning streak. But we're going to ignore the Round 4 result and the Force's strong recent form and tip the Rebels based on the visitors' injury crisis. Rebels by five.
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