Harris injured as Naivalu leads Rebels to victory


Sefa Naivalu celebrated his new contract at Melbourne Rebels with two crucial tries in a 27-22 victory over Western Force on Sunday, but there was an injury setback for Mike Harris.

Wing Naivalu agreed new terms until 2019 at the beginning of the week and played a key role in ensuring the Rebels ended a three-match losing streak ahead of Super Rugby's month-long break.

However, Rebels fly-half Harris, recalled to the Australia squad for June's international fixtures, exited proceedings early on due to an apparent hamstring injury and could now miss out on a first Wallabies appearance since 2013.

Harris was withdrawn moments after Reece Hodge had opened the scoring for Melbourne with a 12th-minute try he also converted.

After Peter Grant had kicked a penalty, the Force hit the front in sensational style as Luke Morahan leapt to claim a high kick and then gathered his own grubber to score in the corner.

Hodge edged the Rebels back in front from the tee, but the visitors pulled level when Naivalu's first score - early in the second half - was followed by a converted try for Harry Scoble five minutes later.

The Rebels ultimately prevailed thanks to two tries in quick succession from Lopeti Timani and Naivalu, with Morahan's second not enough for the Force, who remain bottom of the Australasian Group.