Waratahs bring Rebels back down to earth

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 04:35
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SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Waratahs scored 41 points in the second half to stun the Melbourne Rebels 51-27 in their Super Rugby clash in Sydney on Sunday.

A week after a demoralising loss to the Jaguares in Argentina, the Waratahs came from 3-20 down in the first half to demolish the previously unbeaten Rebels.

The bonus point win gets the Waratahs' season back on track after a draw and a loss in their last two matches.

It also halted the Rebels' momentum following their superb start to the season with three bonus-point victories.

The Waratahs' resurgence was built on the use of the high ball to Israel Folau and Curtis Rona on the wings, with the Rebels unable to cope with the aerial bombardment. 

"We were put under a lot of pressure in the first half," captain Michael Hooper said.

"We let in some easy tries but we knew something was building and that was our focus at half-time - to come out and see what we could do under the high ball."

The Rebels went into the match with all the momentum and started much better than their hosts.

Melbourne centre Tom English crossed in the fifth minute after Kurtley Beale dropped the ball on his own line.

Bernard Foley got the home side on the board with a penalty but Melbourne then took control and skipped away to a 20-3 lead thanks to tries by Japanese international Amanaki Mafi and rising star Jack Maddocks.

Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi scored against the run of play right on half-time to make it 20-10 at the break.

But nobody could have predicted what was to come in the second half as the Waratahs ran in four tries in 16 minutes.

Rob Simmons, Mitch Short, Bryce Hegarty and replacement wing Taqele Naiyaravoro all scored as the home side raced out to a 41-20 lead.

The Rebels got one back when lock Matt Philip touched down under the posts, but a Foley penalty and Naiyaravoro's second right on full-time brought up the half century.

"I think the Waratahs really capitalised on our mistakes," Melbourne captain Adam Coleman said.

"They really plugged the corners well and turned us around and unfortunately we couldn't swing the momentum in the second half."

The Rebels play the Sharks at home on Friday.

"The most pleasing thing is we're going home and going to play in front of our home fans," Coleman said.

"We're going straight home now so we'll be home early and hopefully we'll recover well."

The Waratahs have a bye next weekend.

The scorers:

For Waratahs:
Tries: Naiyaravoro 2, Simmons, Short, Foketi, Hegarty
Cons: Foley 6
Pens: Foley 3

For Rebels:
Tries: Philip, Mafi, English, Maddocks
Cons: Hodge 2
Pen: Hodge


Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Michael Wells, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Alex Newsome, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Ross Haylett-Petty, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner. 
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.

Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)



There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14