Waratahs punish Rebels
PRE-SEASON REPORT: The Waratahs have claimed a 47-5 victory over the Melbourne Rebels at Brookvale Oval in Sydney in the final trial match ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
The Waratahs punished an ill-disciplined Rebels to score seven unanswered tries, including 40 second-half points, in the trial match that was played in 20-minute quarters.
After a defensive tussle in the opening quarter saw both sides go into the first intermission scoreless, the Rebels struck first blood through young rake Jordan Uelese in the 25th minute to break the deadlock.
A rolling maul try from a line-out was a reward for the sustained pressure in attack for the visitors.
The Waratahs responded immediately against the run of play when skipper Michael Hooper picked off a loose pass to run away and score three minutes later.
Little could separate the two sides as the Waratahs went into the half-time break with a narrow 7-5 advantage.
After a tough first-half, the Waratahs doubled their advantage in the 47th minute when a cross-field kick from Foley found a leaping Israel Folau one-on-one to score in the corner.
Two yellow cards in two minutes to Rebels young guns Semisi Tupou and Sione Tuipulotu saw the Rebels down to 13 players, a sight more familiar for the local Manly Sea Eagles fans at Brookvale Oval.
The ill-discipline cost the Rebels as the Waratahs capitalised on the numerical advantage to race out to a 33-5 lead with three tries courtesy of Sham Vui, Lalakai Foketi and a penalty try.
The Rebels, who rotated through the bench in the second half, were starved of quality ball as the Waratahs continued to apply the pressure.
The Waratahs hit the scoreboard again ten minutes from full-time when Bryce Hegarty gathered a precision chip kick from Mack Mason to make it 40-5.
A lovely inside ball from Harrison Goddard put Semisi Tupou through a gap in the defence and looked destined for the chalk in the 73rd minute before Mason showed his wares in defence.
Mason not only brought down a steaming Tupou with a try-saving tackle but forced the turnover as the Waratahs rebounded the length of the field through Alex Newsome to round out the victory.
Tries: Hooper, Folau, Vui, Foketi, Hegarty, Newsome, Penalty Try
Cons: Foley 3, Hegarty 2
For Melbourne Rebels:
Waratahs: 15. Israel Folau, 14. Alex Newsome, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Andrew Kellaway, 10, Bernard Foley, 9. Jake Gordon, 8. Jed Holloway, 7. Michael Hooper (captain), 6. Michael Wells, 5. Rob Simmons, 4. Tom Staniforth, 3. Paddy Ryan, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 1. Tom Robertson.
Replacements - from: Hugh Roach, Tolu Latu, Shambeckler Vui, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Will Miller, Mitch Short, Mack Mason, Bryce Hegarty, Ned Hanigan, Lalakai Foketi, Lachlan Swinton, Ryan McCauley, Brad Wilkin, Nick Palmer, Irae Simone, Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Melbourne Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Angus Cottrell, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements - from: Fereti Sa’aga, Mahe Vailanu, Sam Talakai, Trevor Hosea, Esei Ha’angana, Colby Fainga’a, Ross Haylett-Petty, Harrison Goddard, Tayler Adams, Kitione Ratu, Sione Tuipulotu, David Horwitz, Semisi Tupou, Dom Shipperley, Pone Fa’amasili.