Jack McGregor’s sheepish smile said it all. The Western Force fullback was Super Rugby’s most relieved man.
Jack McGregor’s sheepish smile said it all.
The Western Force fullback was Super Rugby’s most relieved man after his botched kick to touch nearly cost a crucial 16-15 victory over the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.
With time up and the Force holding a one point lead, McGregor jumped into halfback and attempted to hoof the Gilbert into touch.
But the desperate Rebels charged the kick down and regained possession before launching a furious late raid on the Force’s try-line.
Rebels fullback Reece Hodge eventually launched what would have been the winning drop goal but the kick sprayed as wide as McGregor’s post-match smile.
“Very happy, it was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve not only seen, but done on a rugby field at the end there with the kick,” McGregor told Stan Sport at AAMI Park.
“Just lucky to get away with it and win the game. So very happy.
“Relief – a lot of stress on my shoulders there in the last couple of minutes when I gave the ball back to them after the whistle. Very happy that we got the win and a lot of relief now.”
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All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens was one of many rugby fans scratching their heads after a dour match finished with such a wild, bizarre sequence of events.
“It was just one of those incredible moments and the crowd came to their feet because they’d just seen the Rebels show urgency that they maybe hadn’t throughout the game,” Mehrtens said on Stan Sport.
“The lift in urgency in those last five minutes when they held the ball, phase after phase.
“Finally turned it over and the Force wanted to clear it and unfortunately caught a charge down. They really looked like they could be in trouble to hold out there.
“They’ve shown a huge amount of heart.”
The win kept the Force’s finals hopes alive as they battle the Rebels for the third spot.
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