Lions tame rebellious Rebels - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Lions tame rebellious Rebels

Lions tame rebellious Rebels

The Rebels travelled to South Africa looking to continue their winning start to the 2019 Super Rugby season against the Lions.

The Match

First Half

The Lions started well with Malcolm Markes scoring a try in the 5th minute off a sneaky line out move, Jantjies missed the conversion from out wide. That was the end of the Lions good news in the first half, the Rebels struck back quickly in the 7th minute with Reece Hodge crossing in the corner, Cooper missed the conversion and scores were levels, a couple of minutes later the Rebels turned the ball over deep in there own half and scored what will be thir try of the year going the length of the field through hands with Cooper eventually touching the ball down for the visitors second try of the night.

Luke Jones looked great with ball in hand

The Rebels maintained control of the game and when Meakes scored from an intercept the Rebels were cruising, Naisarani scored again for the Rebels in the 23rd minute and Cooper converted to make the scored 5-26. The rest of the first half was fairly open, with the rEbels line speed in defence putting lots of pressure on the Lions.

Second half

Rebels started the second half perfectly putting pressure on the Lions off the kickoff and forcing a knock on, from the attacking scrum the Rebels moved the ball quickly and English finished off for an easy try and to make up for his botched try in the first half. The Lions started to apply pressure on the Rebels who tahn lost Meakes to the bin for repeated penalaties in the Red zone.

The Lions finally managed to break the Rebels defence and cross the line in the 49th minute with Schoeman bashing through from close range. The yellow card proved even more costly when the Rebels could not keep the pressure on and the Lions crossed again in the corned through Coetzee. Mapoe than capitalised on a bit of a brain fade by Quade Cooper who was not showing the urgency needed to ground a grubber in the corner. The scores were back to 26-33 when Meakes returned to the field.

The Lions were a completely different side in the second half

The Lions continued to dominate the momentum of the match and were rewarded when Sckozan crossed the line in the 64th minute, the final 15  minutes of the match were dominated by Egon Seconds whistle. In all my years watching rugby I have never seen a more one-sided refereed game. The Rebels were there own worst enemy but a 20-1 penalty count is unheard of. Even the best teams in the world are not that clean on the pitch.

The Lions won on the last play of the match

The final play of the match saw the Rebels penalised from a scrum and the Lions finally take an unlikely 3 points to take the victory in the 81st minute.


The Game Changer

The first Yellow card, Lions scored 21 points in that 10 minute period and the Rebels never got back into the game. 

The G&GR MOTM

My man of the match goes to Lions sub Andries Coetzee, 1 try, 2 clean breaks and 6 defenders beaten from  7 runs with over 100 meters in the second half really launched the Lions comeback.

Wallaby watch

Well depending on which half you want to watch, all in all, Luke Jones really looked at home playing blindside for the first time. Coleman was solid and made some good hits. Genia, Cooper and Meakes went missing in the second half. Naisarani once again pressed his claims for the Wallaby number 8 jersey.


The Details

Score & Scorers

Lions: 36

Tries: Marx, Schoeman, Coetzee, Mapoe, Skosan
Conversions: Jantijies 3
Penalties: Lombard

Rebels: 33

Tries: Hodge, Meakes, Cooper, English, Naisarani
Conversions: Cooper 4
Penalties:

Cards & citings

Meakes

Cottrell

  • Bert

    Thanks for the write up! Very tough viewing that second half for rebels supporters. But lots to love as well. The lions got forward momentum in the second half and built off that and the tsunami of penalties. The rebels were their own worst enemies there, after being forced to play in their own half, but really, the ref only policed the defending side. Still the final yellow card is worthy of a complaint with vision clearly showing Cotterill coming thru the centre of the mall. Having said that, it was a terrible scrum to finish on. ?early shove from the lions. What was Genia thinking not using some foxing on that play…

    • Singapore Sling

      Genia should have been in the refs ear in the long lead up to the last scrum telling him to watch for the push before the ball is in. Maybe he did and the ref either wasn’t interested or had no idea what Genia was talking about.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thats only because the referump had no idea what he was doing.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        It appeared Genia had given up approaching the reff and decided to cut his losses and go with the lottery of it all. … .who can blame him when the reff appeared to be lost and just swinging haymakers!

      • Who?

        Wayne Smith writing in The Australian said that Genia was hoarse from shouting at a disinterested referee, who was only refereeing one side.

      • Mica

        Bai Sara I needed to just get it out quickly even if he just hoofed it backwards so the rebels could get it out of play.

  • formerflanker

    We wuz robbed!

  • GoMelbRebels

    Thanks Kev, that must have hurt to do. Once, just once can we hold on to a big lead like that? I know, possibly the altitude got to them in the second half and the Lions had more in their tank for 80, but really, can we please stop doing this?

    For me, winning in SA is almost a bigger goal than making finals (though want that too). Let’s see how we go against the Shorks who have had a week off… at home… sigh.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Back from a gym session to shove my face full of food and watch the game. BL’s mad ramblings:
    – Great first half. that is theblue print about how we want he Rebels and the Wallabies to play.
    – Great vision from Meakes.
    – Fantastic quick ball from Genia and excellent play from Cooper. That attacking first half was great to watch.
    – A couple of plays there they were unlucky not two have at least two more meat pies under their belt.
    – Second half was a different story. The Rebs look gassed. I think the altitude, travel and having a couple of their squad members arrive late caught up with them.
    – Being gassed certainly affected their decision making. Their key play makers were absent because they were spent.
    – That last yellow was bullshit.
    Overall losing by 3 points to the Lions at altitude is a reasonable result. the only thing that made it dissapointing was the fact that they could have won it. I hope they learn from this.

    • Adrian

      Yes, reasonable result BL
      20-1 penalty count made a mockery of the game though

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am not sure that Ref had half a clue. I put him up there with the Glen Jackson’s of the world. There were some scrum decisions that I was scratching my head about. BUt hell I am only a second rower, I know about as much about scrums as a fullback!

        • Adrian

          In general play I thought ref ok, which is why I thought the penalties were pre-meditated.

          As a former open-sider or inside centre in Rugby Union, I definitely have no idea about scrums except for when the ball is out!

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte I just pushed hard. The witch craft of the scrum is for those front row types.

        • Kevino

          I have to disagree with you, he was far to inconsistent at the break down. Not rolling away was pinged on the Rebels a few times but not once on the Lions who laid all over the wrong side to slow the Rebels down.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          when even the SA commentators were confusing themselves with scrum fault and causes you know the rest has no clue. .. ..he’s just winging it at that stage! Very disapointing

        • Brisneyland Local

          It was. He was only refferumping one team out there in the second half.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          It wasn’t just him tho.. . the sideline guys kept chirping in and there’s supposed to be a clear directive this year to shut them out of the game so they don’t impact negatively. (just like this game funnily enough)

        • Brisneyland Local

          I wonder if there will be a quiet little review into that game. Bet there wont be.

        • OnTheBurst

          There won’t be… as it will add to the calls for SANZAAR to have neutral refs – which they have resisted

        • Brisneyland Local

          Look dont get me wrong. I genuinely think about 15 of those 20 penalties were probably fair enough. But the next 6 were not. And at crucial times they cruelled them.

        • Who?

          Wayne Smith commented that when Quade’s pinged for knocking on the ball when he’s facing his own tryline, it’s pretty clear that the ref has no clue. Pretty rare to see him calling a ref biased.
          Not his first rubbish game – there was a lot of noise after a game he reffed earlier this year between two Saffa teams.

        • Mica

          SA commentators used to be quite good. The crew they had for this game were just embarrassing. They sunk to a point where they said the rebels should have got two yellow cards in one play for an infringement and advantage for a second. Absolutely laughable. That said, the yellow card for repeated infringements should have come earlier, so the ref was pretty lenient in this regard.

    • Keith Butler

      Have to admit that I haven’t seen the game but a 20to 1 penalty count against the Rebs seems a bit one sided. Mind you a lot of visiting teams seem to face the same problems. Neutral refs would solve the problem and surely there must be a pool available from each country.

      • Brisneyland Local

        He definitely was the Lions 16th member! But I cant be hypocritcal and blame the Ref. I always say you have to take it out of the Refs hands.

        • Keith Butler

          True BL. I’ve lost count of the number of time the Rebs have blown leads. Bad game management and stupid penalties that lead to cards have been their downfall.

        • disqus_NMX

          Well, with only 3 points in it, and 20 to 1 penalty count, I think you are at a point were you really can blame the ref!

        • joy

          By knockout?

        • Brisneyland Local

          If necessary!

      • Fatflanker

        The Saffa refs are without doubt the biggest homies in super rugby…absolutely disgraceful. That penalty count in that last 15 minutes show a ref looking to turn the game for the home team.

      • Brumby Runner

        Neutral refs, now there’s an idea. Why do we keep getting NZ refs for Aussie derbies? Why do inter-conference games involving NS sides nearly always get NZ refs. Why do Saffa refs have just about every Saffa home game? And this, at a time when the best of the Aussie refs are at least equal and usually better than the alternatives?

        • Who?

          And Murphy in Japan reffing an Aussie team, making what I thought was questionable calls at the last two rucks which won the Reds the game…

        • Dylan Langes

          I really don’t get the penalty against Little when Higgenbotham dropped his knee on him pinning him to the ground as he tried to roll away. Was a really soft and wrong penalty

      • Bernie Chan

        At a count of 19-to-1, I was wondering why no more yellow cards….but wonder (am no referee so often can’t work out some “calls’ or “none calls”..). If the Rebs #20 is in the middle of the ruck, how does he get a card for ‘side entry’…? First Lions try…though the try scorer, Marx, was in front of the player in the lineout (Marx was running forward, the prop was stationary…if the throw was straight how could Marx be behind the passer?) and the RA was right there. Ball gets stripped from QC…TMO says “knock on…”…Was one of the RAs Peyper?

        • Who?

          Yes, Peyper was an AR…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes Peyper was one of the Touchies

        • Gipetto

          The foxwit commentators were very hard to take; a final end-on replay showed Cotterel entering the ruck correctly from the back and battling his way through to the ball; no wonder he insisted the ref was wrong. the d#ckhead commentators were silent on that matter. RA is weak no to havetaken action about the need for neutral refs in South Africa. The Rebels got a bonus point and confidence from knowing they were the better team.

      • Dylan Langes

        Something that seems to frustrate me is that we currently have a South African and a Kiwi officiating in Australia, but the Saffas have their own refs and the Kiwis have their own. Why do we not have strong Australian Referees.
        You’re right though there needs to be more neutrality. The Rebels made mistakes but there was a lot of bullshit calls made.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I hope Cooper learns from that stupid try he gave away

      • Brisneyland Local

        So do i. Fatigue is my view. Flying over thursday after Wallaby training Camp. Less time to adjust to altitude. That trip and match was always going to hurt. The positive, is that for the first half the demonstrated that they can do it. They just ran out of legs.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree, just lost energy and with it some thought processes

        • Brisneyland Local

          You what decision making is like fatigued

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely brother. Usually not good

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mine is appalling! But totally brilliant when I am pissed!

      • joy

        The freeze frame on my recorder shows Cooper exerting downward force with his fingers as the ball grounded. Is not that a no try?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Agreed we thought the same! The QUADE, Korrobetti no try was bogus as well as replays clearly show it stripped NOT list forward yet the TV guys just replayed the angle the kinda looked like it being list forward. Disgusting as USSUAL in SA!

        • Who?

          The replays were irrelevant, though, as Egon decided that there was no need for the TMO.

        • Mica

          It was knocked on after the strip anyway, so no matter.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It should have been. The replays I saw, which were in the game so always going to be biased for SA, didn’t show that.

    • Hoss

      Watched it till halftime mate and captain snooze arrived. Interesting to see the FUX online media pan The Sunshine Band for not grounding the ball and not one mention of John English bombing a try first half and I do mean bombed. I am 50, hamstrings tighter than a snare drum, run out of gas over an 8 yard dawdle and even I would have scored that one. Altitude was always gonna play a factor. Having said that I don’t feel so bad now seeing the Soap Dodgers efforts v the Mc Haggis’ – swing low, real low…..

      • Greg

        Swiiiiiing low…. Need Charity…

      • Keith Butler

        That’s it Hoss kick a poor SD when he’s already down. Not only do my Rebs throw this one away, with a little help from the ref, but that’s no excuse. The SDs play a great 35mins and then proceed to implode in the second half when they should have kicked the Sweatties to the Orkneys. Owen Farrell fast becoming the Spanners of English rugby. Needs to have the captaincy removed and tackling lessons.

        • Hoss

          Who needs to tackle well when you are really proficient at the shoulder charge……..

        • Keith Butler

          Yes, he’s an expert. Also at giving charge downs and intercepts. Maybe he should move to the mans game RL. Probably a bit harsh but feeling very frustrated. And my team got knocked out of the prelim bowls finals. Not a good weekend for KB.

      • Mica

        Some credit to the Scots please Mr Hoss. They were pretty good in the second half. The 25m left to right pass that Finn Russel through to his support player running into a gap was sublime. Only one other bloke from Aus could throw that pass, but he needs to work on his in goal urgency!!

    • GoMelbRebels

      Agree, I was not expecting a win and was kinda OK with that, but getting out to a big lead only made my hopes rise, only to plummet in the end.

  • Singapore Sling

    The Rebels will be wondering how they let that get away. There are many things they will look back on when they review the second half and defence off the restarts will be one of them. Cooper kicks were getting nice hang time but the defence became more and more feeble as the game went on. The Lions receivers were making 20-30 easy metres off every restart then the ref was taking care of the rest. There would have been 20 or more attacking ruck infringements, diving over, sealing off, not staying on their feet etc. I’d like the opinion of someone with better refereeing credentials then me to comment.

    Cooper will be embarrassed by his brain fade in goal. He needs to ask himself what’s the benefit of letting the ball run dead and getting the feed to a five metre scrum under severe pressure with a man down or forcing the ball in goal then regaining composure and then drop kicking it 50m downfield.

    Marika Koroibete has a shocking passing technique right to left, it’s more like a throw than a pass. He looks like he’s trying to skim a rock on a lake.

    A frustrating but entertaining game the Rebels will rue but they will take away plenty of positives and lessons.

    • Singapore Sling

      I have to moderate my view of Coopers error after just watching the replay. I intially thought the kick was put through close to the 5m line but it was just outside the 22. That makes his decision a little more understandable although not totally excusable.

  • joy

    It was the forwards that went missing in the second half. Altitude won the game.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Totally agree. …. people forget, if the game plan is forward domination 1st THEN go wide….. It’s a bit hard for the playmakers to shine if the forwards aren’t holding their own. The other team also has a huge say in the matter…..its called possession.

  • Greg

    The first half was just excellent with great work by 9 and 10.

    Cooper looked a bit casual on a few occasions and one of them gifted a try.

    I want to see us play more like the first half, more often.

    Cooper has to be given a shot in the gold squad outside sanchez and inside someone other than gilbert.

    • joy

      Meakes

      • disqus_NMX

        Or Hunt, or Kerevi.

        • Bernie Chan

          Both Hunt and Kerevi perhaps…even though Kerevi is a better #12, maybe Hunt can play #13. They are both straight runners…

  • Tim

    Literally sums up Australian rugby. Can’t play a full 80 minutes

  • GO THE Q REDS

    That Reffs totally lost control of that game.. ….repeated overzealous False claims by linesman cost the Rebels dearly. A Genia forward pass, coming through the middle penlty and offside calls along with very distastefully TV footage replay management all perfect eg of very average officialdom.
    On a brighter note besides the Ingoal try and a knock on, Quade again had the Rebels attack humming along nicely. That Rebels try of the year started with Quades big hit on Janties who spilled the ball leading to great Rebels play for a Cooper runaway try!
    Not a huge amount the Rebels will have to work on, bar maybe the Captains reff management got ugly. Bonus point loss not too bad anyways….

    • Baylion

      Not to put too fine point on it but the Cooper try started with a hit on Combrinck not Jantjies.

      Jantjies gets enough flack, doesn’t need false flack as well :)

  • Mart

    Rebels are the real deal. They left a lot of points out there too

  • Cameron Rivett

    Was almost a rinse repeat of last year: 4 starting wins then just flops. At this point I think the Rebels exist just to knock off other Australian teams to prevent us from getting more than 1 in the finals.

    Koroibete needs to be dropped (ironically he was on the bench this game but was still awful). Naisarani had a few drops too. Quade definitely made some costly mistakes but you expect that and just hope that his offensive potential will make up for that. The 11th minute try is probably the best of the season.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      That opinion reflects you at no time watched the game, or the struggle with the referee. Isi and Quade r just like every other player.. .. they ALL make mistakes. The diff is both these guys offer ALOT more than others in their positions therefore mistakes are well and truly made up for!

      • Cameron Rivett

        I admit that as I was away on Friday-Saturday, I binged a lot of replays today after I got back and the Rebels game was the last I watched. The referee is clearly not up to Super Rugby standards, and I cannot wait for Angus Gardner to return now that the 6N is over. However you can’t blame the Rebels dropping such a massive lead on him.

        I agree that Isi and Quade are only human but are still probably the best in their positions in the country. I think my meaning didn’t come through clearly, because I wasn’t implying that their offensive potential didn’t make up for it – quite the contrary.

        • Bernie Chan

          Nic Berry came back in recent days after reffing the ENG v ITA game…so another good one….

        • Who?

          But you could blame it on a combination of the referee (20-2 penalty count is unprecedented, respected journalists are calling him into question, and it’s not the first game he’s officiated this year where teams felt robbed) and altitude after being prevented from leaving early by a Wallabies camp. ;-)

        • Cameron Rivett

          He is probably the worst ref in Super Rugby but I have seen worse performances from better refs – not that this was a good one. Mostly I think it was the altitude, the forwards in particular seemed to go to sleep in the second half. I may look through the game again though if I decide to prepare an article on it and revise my opinion.

    • Brisneyland Local

      YEah but the other Australian teams would get there if they would good enough. But alas, they arent!

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Pretty sure the reff was talking about the player who got through to the ball as you could hear his dialogue with the lions players referring to the player on the ball…. .Who knows in that shambles tho… .

  • GoMelbRebels

    So here is my conspiracy theory… the Lions and the ref were on the take. They let in a lot of fairly easy tries (for the most part) to give the Rebels a big lead. This shoots up the Lions’ live betting odds. Money is then put on the Lions. Then in the second half, with help from the ref, the Lions come back and win – making people a lot of money plus the Lions also win. A win-win situation.

    OK, maybe not, but it makes me feel better about the loss if I believe it.

    • Who?

      I don’t think it’s likely, but it’s more believable than the idea the Wallabies were competent enough to throw a test! :-P

    • Singapore Sling

      If that’s the case and I was the conspiracy syndicate manager I’d be furious that the Lions took it to the 80th minute with a risky kick to win. More likely an incompetent ref under home town pressure.

      It was shit all the same.

      • GoMelbRebels

        That was all part of their plan – they are very good at making it look legit!

  • Gallagher

    All I am going to say is I would rather support the Rebels in losing, with the plays I saw that will click and blow teams off the park as they find more game time and continue to improve their excellent set plays and combinations, than support the abysmal Reds display that scraped them a win.

    Oh and for anyone that wants to complain about Quade, I dare you to say on this forum that you watched the Tahs game as well and that Foley played better on the weekend. (In case you missed it he was utterly abmissmal by club rugby standards). He is yet to even register in the G&GR Wallaby watch (apart from Tupou somehow, the only incumbent not to feature so far), yet Cooper is one of only four players to be at 3 picks from 4 rounds… and will probably take it again this week as Christian or Lucas/Stewart/Sorovi/Pauaua//McDermot (or whoever the Reds 10 is) didn’t do anything either unfortunately.

  • Baylion

    But 17 penalties (20 actually) and two yellow cards, which could well have been doubled had referee Egon Seconds not been so accommodating of the indiscipline that bordered on intentional spoiling, allowed the home side to buck the “kick and defend” trend.

    • Fatflanker

      Hardly. The SA refereeing team did not miss a single opportunity to penalise the Rebels. Fair enough, had they applied the same rigor to the Lions who were allowed to virtually infringe at will. This was a disgraceful refereeing performance and the RA is weak for not calling it out.

  • Baylion

    20-1

    A “stat” that has been bandied about a lot so far this week with the ref copping some flack.

    A stat I would like to see, and which isn’t available on public stats, is the penalty advantages. Penalty advantages are essentially penalties not given because the attacking team played through the advantage. How many penalty advantages did the Rebs play through, especially in the first half.

    Another stat, the Lions dominated possession and territory in the first and second half. The Rebels scored most of their tries against the run of play, or got into position to score them anyway.

    With an ill-disciplined side like the Rebs the stats were always going to be lopsided under those circumstances. Maybe not 20-1 but maybe 20-6. Or 36-10 if the penalty advantages (thumbsuck) are taken into account.

    And Egon Seconds has copped a lot of flack this week. I agree he’s not a good ref, but surprisingly neither of his ARs or the TMO are copping flack for not alerting him to the supposed Lions infringements he “missed”. Not once, or did he ignore them?

    Fact is, under pressure the Rebs infringe. And they don’t heed the ref warnings and keep on infringing. And they get carded and keep on infringing.

Melbourne Rebels

Irish born Melbournian who loves all things Rugby so really grew up in the wrong city. Munster, Rebels, Ireland, B&I Lions.

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