Rebels break the Lions hoodoo - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Rebels break the Lions hoodoo

Rebels break the Lions hoodoo

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.

First Half

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

Second Half

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.


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.

Wallaby Watch

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.

The Details

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′)



  • Gun

    Enjoyed the game. Nice to come away from the Stockade after a win. Crowd maybe 9 000. Lots of
    Yarpies. Kellaway and Isi great. Two cows controlled well. Didn’t see his mrs.

  • Well that was a lot better than the Tahs second half, or the England v Wales first half.

    My only worry is, as I said last week about the Tahs performance “It’s only the Lions.” And look at what happened this week…

    That said, really can’t complain. The names you’d hope to see stood up and were counted. Although people will argue I’m sure, I felt both YC were the right call, and the Rebels came through both periods for a win.

    There appears to be some belief and structure starting to appear which is always a good sign. You’d think a bye, then a win against the Moondoggies is on the cards before a rough old tour: Stormers and Jaguares away.

    • Keith Butler

      Nice to see the Rebs go back to back but to be honest it was a pretty scrappy game. They really clicked in one move late in the second half with backs and forwards combining perfectly – would have been a great score. As you say need a nice win against the Moondogs before a difficult tour. As for the big game at Twickenham no complaints from me about the RC but would say that Hadley Parkes was pretty lucky to just be penalised and not YC’d for a shoulder to MTs head earlier in the game. Joe Marler just stupid, hardly any intent to injure but will probably get a suspension.

      • Probably, yes to both. I thought Farrell was quite lucky too. He’d just been warned about scrapping on the ground and a couple of minutes later he pushed someone in the back. I’m guessing the ref didn’t see it, because it’s a PK and he didn’t call it. But that soon after a comment like that it could easily have been “I just warned you. Yellow Card”.

        Either North needs to be dropped or their new defence coach needs to rework the system. But nice to see the boys can score some tries, even if too little, too late.

        • Keith Butler

          Every time Farrell opens his mouth with his northern accent it sounds like he wants an argument. Juries out for me regarding his captaincy. Maybe we need a more refined public school accent like Maro Itoje?

        • As a Welsh woman who catches the metro to work right by a statue commemorating the Jarrow Crusade, I think Faz has either a weird Eastern or a soft Southern accent!

          But, more seriously, I see shades of Hooper and his ability to wind up the ref and complain, whine even, past the point where the ref just runes him out. Long may it continue!

        • Keith Butler

          I agree Eloise. As far as I’m concerned the only voice should be the captain. Anyone else should be a penalty. But I guess you can never stop scrum halves yapping, it’s in their DNA.

        • They had an interview with Wayne Barnes before a recent GP match in which he said he actually finds the scrum half comments and chat useful.

          Not as you might think, although he doesn’t mind that either, but because they deliver commentary to tell their teammates what’s going on and what to do, and it helps him anticipate where to stand, what to look for in the next phase and so on.

          It can also, like that Perenara case a few weeks ago, highlight something unusual that’s worth a closer check. Although he pointed out its a bit of a double edged sword, last time he checked after a 9 suggested he should and the AR agreed, the decision from the TMO ended up YC for one of the players from that scrum half’s side!

        • Keith Butler

          No problem with directing traffic at all or talking when justified but what really erks me is when they, or any player for that matter, tries to milk penalties. Gamesmanship rules OK.

  • Mr Wobbly

    Thanks for the write up, Diego.

    I thought the Rebels defensive effort was right on point this week, a few discipline issue aside.

    Agree with your choice for MOTM but I think Matt Philip deserved another mention in Wallaby Watch, great game from him.

    Also, cheers to the Rebels W team on their first ever win, over in WA!

  • AllyOz

    Sithole… one consonant away from an insult

  • Mart

    Do i dare say Kellaway has a bit of Ben Smith about him

Melbourne Rebels

Diego Ghirardi is a rugby fanatic from Italy, living in Melbourne. Played on the wing, now mainly couch flanker or sideline halfback. Enjoys writing in broken English, which should be read in a Franco Cozzo accent to render it more original. In case you understand Italian, you can read his banters on or better not

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