As the Crusaders’ season went from bad to worse, Kurtley Beale and Izack Rodda made bright returns to Super Rugby to help the Force keep their Super Rugby finals hopes alive by securing a massive 37-15 win in Perth.

The Wallabies duo lined up for their first action of the year in Super Rugby and instantly made a difference to a side decimated by injuries.

Beale, 35, was playing his first Super Rugby match in 1,497 days and didn’t miss a beat, while Rodda, who has been plagued by foot and leg injuries over the past two years, made an important lineout steal midway through the second half and was a calming influence after entering the dray early in the match for a concussed Tom Franklin.

Ben Donaldson takes the ball to the line against the Crusaders at HBF Park on April 20, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Janelle St Pierre/Getty Images)

Rodda’s clutch lineout steal came just in the nick of time, with the Crusaders closing the margin to 22-15 after flying winger Sevu Reece cut the margin to a converted try midway through the second half.

But a Ben Donaldson penalty and tries to forwards Sam Carter and Carlo Tizzano saw the Force seal a memorable and important win for Simon Cron’s men that leaves them just four points outside the top eight.

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