A first win versus the Lions, first Wesel’s win versus a South African team
It was the second win in a row for the Melbourne team was an excellent defensive display versus a Lions outfit the missed the spark in their backs.
To’omua, Haylett-Petty and Naisarani were the outstanding players for the home team, combining clever passing, kicking and powerful runs to keep the opponents on their toes. Kellaway provided the right breaks to set up the first half lead and the defence was superb to hold on for 20 minutes with 14 players on the field.
The Rebels draw first blood after 13 minutes thanks to a Toomua penalty in front of the posts. Hardwick gained the penalty forcing the Lions to hold on the ball at the breakdown after Haley-Petty pushed them back into their 22 with a very well weighted kick in open play.
The first try of the game came from an individual effort from Kellaway, who is enjoying a very positive season in Melbourne, ran from the half to the try line evading the opponents after he collected a nice pass by To’omua.
Not afraid to tackle the big forward, Koroibete on Alberts
Ten minutes later the former Tahs winger was again in the spotlight. With Marika Koroibete on the sin bin, the winger moved to the left side where he found a hole in the defensive line to unleash Hardwick who scored in front of the post.
The numeric advantage played well for the visitors with Ulengo crossing the chalk with 6 minutes to play in the first half. The winger was left unmarked on the closed side after a line out maul and easily deposited the pill over the line.
Ulengo walks over the try line
Before the half time whistle the Rebels conceded another score to the Lions, English stepped over the advantage line to take on the scrum half to concede an easy penalty to World Cup winner flyhalf Jantjies. The Rebels’ centre also collected a yellow card for his efforts, reducing the team back to 14 men for the second time in the match.
First Half score: Rebels 15 – Lions 10
The Rebels scored again with a man less on the field. Their third try was an all forwards affair with Naisarani ending a combination he started with a sleek pass to Phillip, the lock combining with his fellow forward Cottrell, who returned the ball back to the Number 8, who scored with ease in front of the posts.
Isi Naisarani scores
Fifteen minutes in the half, the Haylett-Petty brothers scored the fourth try for the rebels: Louwrens broke the defensive line just into the Lion’s half and delivered to Dane who ran towards the try line, the defence caught up on him but with Ross’ help the captain was able to touch down the ball.
Ross helps Dane to touch down for the try
At the 62′ minute veteran prop Jannie Du Plessis came in from the bench and made himself noticed for the wrong reason, conceding a penalty in the scrum for To’omua to score his second penalty goal of the game.
The Lions got back on the scoreboard thanks to prop Sithole with 7 minutes to play, but the Rebels had the final word thanks to Kellaway’s second 5 pointer of the evening, and his 7th this season. The winger collecting a long pass from Deegan to score in the corner. The try was awarded despite the replay showing the number 14 not having the full control of the ball when he touched it down.
Final Score: Melbourne Rebels 37 – Chiefs 17
The Game Changer
The third Rebel’s try was not only a great display of forward power but a blow for the visitors who conceded the second major despite playing with a man more on the field. it was a clear blow to the Lions’ morale.
The G&GR MOTM
With two tries and an assist for another one Kellaway was a constant danger for the home team. Although our MOTM is Isi Naisarani, for his constant effort in the mid of the trenches against an intimidating forward line.
Clearly MOTM Naisarani has to be on the top of the list, but the player who deserves a call from the new head coach have to be Andrew Kellaway, in case the old rules still applies, he was born in NSW and played for Randwick, so he has a chance.
Score & Scorers
Melbourne Rebels 37 (15):
Tries: Kellaway (2), Hardwick, Naisarani, Haylett-Petty
Conv.: Toomua 3/4, Deegan 0/1
Pen.: Toomua 2/2
Lions 17 (10):
Tries: Ulengo, Sithole
Conv.: Jantjies 2/2
Pen.: Jantjies 1/1
Cards & citings
Koroibete (27′), English (40′)