Rebels hang tough v Highlanders - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Rebels hang tough v Highlanders

Rebels hang tough v Highlanders

The Melbourne Rebels defeated a fast-finishing Highlanders 24-19 at AAMI park.

Melbourne’s weather turned on a ripper for the Rebels’ first home game of the season and the first day of autumn with a maximum temperature of 40 and a temperature of 32 at kick off. While the Highlanders were invoking the All Blacks RWC year resting policy, with a number of key players left out of the lineup.

First Half

It was a high octane start virtually from the kick off Quade Cooper threw a flat pass to an attacking Billy Meakes to put Meakes’ nose through the Highlanders’ line. Meakes was able to offload to Tom English who threw the ball wide to Marika Koroibete. The Rebels were able to move the ball from their own 22 to inside the Highlanders half. However, Koroibete had the ball stripped by the Highlanders winger Waisake Naholo.

Jack Maddocks tried a cross field kick to Meakes but kicked it out on the full. Then Naholo got the ball on the right wing and gave Cooper the don’t argue, which almost had enough force to send Cooper to Richmond train station. There was a wonderful cross field kick from Bryn Gatland (son of Warren) to Shannon Frizell, who scored his fourth try of season.

Elliot Dixon was able to interrupt a Rebels line out throw 30 metres from their defensive try line but the ball went to ground and ever reliable Angus Cottrell toed the ball through and regathered before finding Matt Philip the ball then went through Will Genia to Quade Cooper but Cooper tried a miracle ball which resulted in a knock on by Isi Naisarani.

The Rebels were attacking the line for five phases and had a penalty advantage but Naholo and Koroibete didn’t know and both ran the length of the field after Naholo intercepted a Cooper pass. Naholo won the race but there were no points on the end of it.

The Rebels elected to take a scrum instead of an easy three points and it paid dividends. Genia under pressure from the scrum base got the ball to skipper Dane Haylett-Petty, who showed great finger tip control. Haylett-Petty drew a player and passed to Tom English who strolled over for his 19th try for the Rebels, drawing him level with Reece Hodge as the leading try scorers in Rebels history. Quade Cooper converted from the sideline to put the Rebels in front 7-5.

Anaru Rangi was penalised for not releasing in the tackle. From an attacking lineout the Highlanders had the ball inside the Rebels 22 for seven phases before returning Rebel stalwart Luke Jones ripped the ball out of Siate Tokolahi. Jones passed it to Genia, who thumped the ball into touch inside the Highlanders’ half.

From the lineout the Highlanders made twenty metres in five phases before Will Genia was penalised for not rolling away in the tackle. Another Highlanders lineout on the Rebels’ 22. A rolling maul from the lineout gained 15 metres. After five phases the ball came out wide to Josh McKay and it was a case of McKay versus Dane Haylett-Petty. Haylett-Petty tackled McKay around the ankles and McKay came within centimetres of grounding the ball. The Highlanders received a penalty for Will Genia being offside.

The Highlanders chose to go for an attacking lineout from 5 metres out. The Highlanders rolling maul was unstoppable and prop Siate Tokolahi was the recipient scoring his second Super Rugby try. Gatland converted this try to give the Highlanders a 12-7 lead.

The Highlanders dropped the kickoff forward into a teammate but AJ Jacobs missed it and penalised the Rebels a short time later for being offside.

From their own lineout inside the opposition half the Rebels spread the ball from one side to the other and after twelve phases, Marika Koroibete got a little bit impatient and tried to reach out and slam the ball down but unfortunately just lost the ball. Another penalty, for the Highlanders not releasing the ball gave the Rebels a lineout inside 10 metres. After eleven phases Cooper with magic hands put Jack Maddocks into a gap and over the line.

Naholo put in a chip kick in his own 22 straight to Koroibete, 30 metres out from the tryline. Koroibete linked up with Haylett-Petty, who made an incisive run and popped a ball to Angus Cottrell. Genia then found Cooper and Naisarani from the ruck before finding Meakes. Meakes threw a sublime inside ball to English for his 20th try to leapfrog Hodge as Rebels all time leading try scorer. English was rewarded for running a diagonal line.

The Rebels headed to oranges with a 19 – 12 lead.

Second Half

The second half started with a bone jarring tackle from Naisarani on Teihorangi Walden. Haylett-Petty then received a box kick from Kayne Hammington on the chest just in side his own half. A searching cross field run from Haylett-Petty saw him beat a couple of tacklers and advance the ball 25 metres for the Rebels. Two phases later, Quade Cooper put through a dinky grubber kick from the 22. It looked for all money that Bryn Gatland had the ball covered. But Quade Cooper must have had the ball on a string because it bounced up perfectly for Billy Meakes, who gathered gleefully and scored the try, to make the score 24 – 12.

Isi Naisarani had an impact again causing a turnover at a ruck near his defensive 22. The ball was then passed to Marika Koroibete who made a dynamic run, gaining 30 metres. The Rebels received a penalty at the breakdown and Genia took a quick tap and grubber kicked, with the ball going into touch inside the attacking 22.

Play from both sides was a little bit sloppy in the first part of the second half. With the Rebels kicking the ball away more than they did in the first half.

Marty Banks came on with just over twenty minutes to go replacing Gatland and had an immediate impact. His long kick which went into the Rebels’ in-goal area resulted in Cooper grounding the ball. This helped the Highlanders gain a territorial advantage. Then Banks created havoc at the breakdown, which resulted in Haylett-Petty being penalised for playing the ball on the ground.

Richard Hardwick was penalised shortly after coming onto the ground for coming in from the side. Banks kicked the ball into the corner. The attacking lineout wasn’t as clean as the Highlanders would have liked but after some pick and gos Jackson Hemopo scored his first Super Rugby try.

Hardwick made amends a short time later earning a penalty for Ricky Jackson not releasing the ball. Reece Hodge attempted a 49 metre shot at goal and had the distance but not the accuracy.

Hardwick was the villain again being penalised for not releasing at the tackle and/or not rolling away. Banks drove the ball deep into the Rebels half but the Rebels’ defence was able to hang on.

With six minutes remaining the Rebels received a penalty near halfway for the Highlanders collapsing the scrum. From the lineout, Meakes passed to Cooper who tried to tap on to Maddocks, but the ball went to ground. Sio Tomkinson did brilliantly to pick the ball up and then he grubbered the ball to just inside the Rebels’ defensive try line. Marika Koroibete got back to save the day.

As the match wore on the Highlanders continued to gain the advantage in the battle for territory and some of the game management issues that the Rebels suffered last season reared their head.

The Highlanders attacked for eighteen phases as the Rebels chant went around AAMI Park. Before the Highlanders received a penalty and took a quick tap. It looked like Frizell was going to steal the match at the death but Michael Ruru, who had been on the field for less than five minutes was able to get his hand in the way and knock the ball loose of Frizell’s grip as he went over the line.

The Rebels held on to make it a 2-0 start to the season.

The Game Changer

He wasn’t on the field for long but Michael Ruru’s effort in defence to dislodge the ball from Shannon Frizell’s grasp saved the game for the Rebels.

The G&GR MOTM

It is a difficult task to pick the player of the match. There was no real stand out and there were a number of players who were solid. Marty Banks made an important contribution for the Highlanders, but was only on the field for just over twenty minutes, I will learn towards Dane Haylett-Petty, who was solid at the back and involved in a number of the Rebels’ attacking forays.

Wallaby Watch

Quade Cooper was Quade Cooper, some rocks and some diamonds, but if I was a selector he would definitely be in my Wallaby squad. Every time I watch Billy Meakes I am impressed. Marika Koroibete did some nice things in attack but also made some mistakes. Isi Naisarani is someone I can’t wait to see in Wallby colours and returning Rebels stalwart Luke Jones also had a good game.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Rebels 24

Tries: Tom English 2, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes

Conversions: Quade Cooper 2/4

Penalties: Reece Hodge 0/1

Highlanders 19

Tries: Shannon Frizell, Siate Tokolahi, Jackson Hemopo

Conversions: Bryn Gatland 1/2, Marty Banks 1/1

Cards: None

Crowd: 11,029

 

  • GoMelbRebels

    Thanks Scott. In my preview I predicted the Rebels would win by “an uncomfortable 6”. I didn’t expect to be that close to the mark.

  • Singapore Sling

    The Rebels front row was excellent. Rangi would have to be the form hooker so far. Cooper defended very well apart from the Naholo bump off but he’s a big lump and has made fools of some of the best tacklers in the world. Marika loses the ball in contact more often than not but his scramble in cover in the last few minutes was courageous.

    Genia’s quick tap off the penalty in the second half was a crime against all forwards. The situation required a steadying kick to the corner and set the lineout. Every time a back takes a quick tap a koala falls dead from a gumtree.

    • Huw Tindall

      Where has that scrum performance been? Were all over the Highlanders by the end.

      Agree re that tap from Genia too. They got ahead of themselves. Needed to keep the pressure on not play stupid Tahs style chuck it around rugby. Still they held on so they are learning to win.

      • Greg

        The scary thing here tho… is that Genia is the calm voice for Hooper when they are in gold.

        • Huw Tindall

          Hoops ‘backs the boys’ too much. Whoukd back the 3 pts more often.

    • Cameron Rivett

      It was shocking to me when Cheika was forced to blood a new hooker last year and he picked Paenga-Amosa rather than Rangi. Rangi has been solid around the park as well as at scrum time, and his lineout ball is slightly straighter on average than Paenga-Amosa (from memory without any reference to the stats).

      The quick tap was a poor option, none of his chasers were willing to put their body on the line to keep the ball in play so it just fizzled out against the sideline. A penalty kick would have gone out at about the same point but handed possession back to the Rebels.

      • John Tynan

        See, I have it the other way around..the joys of multiple view points and making a case. Bring on the selection panel!

      • Perth girl

        Was Rangi eligible then?

  • Huw Tindall

    Thanks for the write up Scott and well done the Rebels. Did their best to lose it at the end but showed some grit to hang on. Learning how to win!

    Probably the thing that suprised me the most was the Rebels scrum. They had the Highlanders under the pump! Where has this come from?

    Quick player ratings for starting 15. Note 5 = standard game from a professional rugby player. It’s not a bad score.

    FRONT ROW
    Faulkner – 6 – solid game and part of a strong Rebels scrum
    Rangi – 7 – strong in the scrum and excellent work around the park including taking a high ball Folau sytle
    Talakai – 6 – as for Faulkner plus a crucial ruck turnover

    LOCKS
    Jones – 5 – industrious and solid in set piece
    Phillips – 6 – as for Jones but better around the park. Was leading run metres for the Rebs in the first half.

    BACKROW
    Cottrell – 6 – got through a lot of work but no major highlights (or errors!)
    Wilkin – 5 – a bit of ruck pest but got flattened in one tackle. Dicky Hardwick looked better when he came on.
    Naisarani – 6 – 80 minute effort and got through a mountain of defense. Not really showing his running game. Still missing Mafi in that regard.

    BACKS
    Genia – 6 – not as good as week 1 vs the Brums but organised things well again. Fluffed one kick out on the full.
    QC – 6 – would have been a 7 but almost lost the with a no look pass at the end to nobody and the Landers almost score.
    Marika – 5 – would have been a 4 but his effort at the end to save QC’s bacon brings him back to 5. Not seeing enough from Marika. Runs hard and can make a big hit but that’s it. No kicking game. No passing game. No step. Not that good under the high ball.
    Meakes – 7 – great game IMO. Defense and attack. Some good offloads and got a meat pie off QCs boot. Currently form 12 in Aussie. Kerevi only played one game so far but is close behind.
    English – 6 – gets tries, makes tackles, is always in position. Not a block buster game like TK can play but pretty flawless.
    Maddocks – 7 – right place right time kind of player. Few crucial reads whilst fielding kicks and on the spot for his try. Looks to have a good rugby brain.
    DHP – 6 – solid at the back with some nice runs. Needs to do more to get ahead of Banks and Izzy.

    • Human

      Good thoughts Huw. The secret to the Rebels scrum can only be down to QC. The Reds had a great scrum while he was there, not so good last week. The Rebs had a poor scrum for years, QC turns up and the scrum dominates…it is not a coincidence.
      Plus, I reckon their culture might be stronger than it has been in previous years. Some self belief coupled with some more decent players added in can be powerful.

      • Keith Butler

        The team needs/needed a good season or two to gel together. Good start again (like last season) but have to hold it together. I remember last year we were ahead in a few games with 15 or 20 mins to go but blew it through poor game management. Almost happened in the last 10 mins last night but we scrapped through. Interesting to see what happens next weekend.

        • Brumby Runner

          My take is that the Rebels last night went off th boil immediately after Genia took a quick tap on a long arm penalty and kicked to touch. Highlanders’ throw and possession instead of a Rebels’ throw and possession near the Landers’ 22m line.

          Genia then seemed to make mistake after mistake. Worst case was the tackle on DHP where he just stood pointing at the ball instead of securing it, and the Landers were awarded a penalty for DHP playing the ball on the ground.

          Will is the only half back in Aussie rugby who absolutely refuses to enter a ruck to secure possession.

        • Keith Butler

          Yep that was a bad decision. Happened a lot last season as well. Ten point or so up, the opposition get a try and the panic button is pushed.

        • Bernie Chan

          Agree…the loss of focus in the latter stages must concern Wessels. The Rebels did everything possible to give possession back to the Highlanders. Genia played a second half in a manner that belies his experience, and that quick tap was an epic brain fade.
          Maddocks making Koroibete look second rate, Meakes and English thriving with QC at flyhalf, and he is attracting defenders which is allowing Meakes more time and space.
          Scrum looked good…dominant in the end even with the subs.
          Coleman’s cameo was worth the wait…started with a big tackle to shake off the cobwebs.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yes I’m enjoying English as well. Lots of consistent solid impacts in every game so far.

      • John Tynan

        “..The secret to the Rebels scrum can only be down to QC..”
        Gold!!

        • Human

          I know,that some killjoy will come along and say, “Correlation does not imply causation” or something equally trite, but those of us who know and love the ‘QC way’ can see where the truth lies.

        • Greg

          Indeed, a larger sample would be required to have sufficient statistical power to confidently disprove the null hypothesis…. or we can just enjoy the game!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate that’s gold. QC helping the scrum from 10 he is a legend

      • GO THE Q REDS

        I love how some think this was a joke but it’s not. That moment in the game just before Quade gave that mid air no look outside ball for the Maddocks try, Quade was right up behind the pack yelling encouragement and instructions to the forwards as Genia was stuck in a previous tackle. As soon as Genia arrived he moved out and they both saw the space for an opportunity. Maddocks also saw the opportunity and his vision and combination with Quade should see both of them in Gold this year!

        • Human

          Mate, I agree, QC does a lot that many do,not see, his vision for the game is extraordinary. I as only half joking when I posted it originally.

    • Keith Butler

      Wouldn’t argue with any of these HW. Phillips got through a lot of work and the front row performance surprised me. Looks like Hugh Jones has toughen up a bit from his stint in France or is is just the convict haircut. Meakes looking the goods as well.

      • Huw Tindall

        Meakes is growing in me. A no fuss player who does everything asked of him and has some skills e.g. his cross kick last week. Between SK, KHunt and Meakes we have some handy picks at 12.

        • Greg

          and Gilbert to the bench? Could be good.

        • Huw Tindall

          Unless we have the world’s best pack with regular front foot ball (which we don’t) I’m not sold on Gilbert at 12. Maybe super sub a la world cup 2015 or 15 but only if he plays big minutes at 15 for the Tahs.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And I’m convinced it’s Quade thats providing Meakes with the confidence, tips and even opportunities. I too am liking Meakes so far this year. Was not impressed with his selection last year tho. There’s just no way he was standing out or showing enough to be a wallaby. Problem is too be a good international player. … Meakes has to have these good games he’s having every single week. It needs to become second nature for him to make good plays…… like what you see from Quade every game.

    • Hoss

      Great stuff Huw. Hard to fault many. I would also add that #11 ‘Can’t get right’ is perhaps the worst player in SR. Granted he ran down that try, but he will hurt the Frebels big time this year. He has hand like flippers and ‘rugby smarts’- he thinks their a local band.

      • Huw Tindall

        Lolz. Another thing to hang at Cheika’s door. You can see what he likes in him but our league convert doesn’t have the all round skills (yet) for test rugby.

      • Cameron Rivett

        His handling skills were absolutely shocking last night, as well as his refusal to look for support runners until after he’s been tackled. I’d rather start an average club winger than this guy, sure you’d lose out on some big hits but at least they’d try to catch the high ball with their hands rather than their head.

        • Hoss

          His big hits don’t make up for the three he misses prior – tries hard, good intent, but he has zero ‘feel’ for the game at all.

        • Greg

          Agreed. He had a shocker…. but did make a match saving tackle.

        • Andy

          Good description Hoss. A real Cheika type of player

    • Brumby Runner

      Agree that Philip was the pick of the forwards, but Naisarani is also doing very good things.

      Koroibete has a lot of issues with his game. As you say he runs hard, but loses the ball in contact much too often. He is also a bit light weight and is easily pushed over the sideline in tackles. Also misses too many tackles when he rushes out of the line. Wouldn’t have him in the Wallabies side on this form.

      • Huw Tindall

        For sure Naisarani isn’t doing anything wrong at all but he isn’t living up to the next Kefu hype that he seems to have been generating. Timu is a better ball runner and McCaffery all round skills. Dempsey looking good too! Lots of competition for 8.

        Agree on Marika. Not in the 23.

        • Andy

          I’m liking McCaffery for 6 or 8. All round good player. He’s the kind of guy that would suit the international game imo. Doesn’t have any apparent weakness that the opposition can exploit.

        • Huw Tindall

          Reminds me a bit of Ben McCalman. Solid all round game but nothing flashy or special. We all know about his legendary defensive effort in the Wales game at RWC when we were down to 13 men. At this stage is definitely a contender but I think will end up being determined by the balance in the back row.

          If it’s a Pooper back row then I think he misses out and we need a Naisarani or Timu style player for the in tight ball running. Would give my left nut for Billy Vunipola to be eligible for Australia!

          If, as most of us hope, it’s a traditional back row then I think McCaffery is a real shot. Assuming Poey at 7 then can have a workhorse like McCaffery for the grunt work then a more flashy backrower like Depmsey or Higgers.

        • Andy

          Good points. Agree. Hoping to see a more balanced back row with Pocock at 7 and hooper off the pine

    • John Tynan

      Mafi didn’t do the defence dirty work like Isi seems to.

      • Huw Tindall

        Maybe but i’d have Mafi every day of the week if he wasnt a shit bloke.

        • AllyOz

          I wouldn’t mind playing rugby with him but I just wouldn’t drink with him after the game.

    • Adrian

      Thoughtful ratings Huw, agree with most of them

  • Human

    Frizell, I think was schooled in Australia, played Aust Schools, as did his brother, Tyson…I could be wrong about all that including the names. However, if correct, how is it that neither of these blokes is lining up for the RA teams? You did not need to be their mother to see that these two kids were quality footballers.

    • Cameron Rivett

      Shannon was raised in NZ while Tyson was raised in Australia. Tyson obviously went to League instead though. If anything, they should both be playing for Tonga anyway.

      https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/05/04/tyson-frizell-and-the-brother-he-wasnt-allowed-to-grow-up-alongside/

      • Human

        Thankyou for correcting my misunderstanding.

        • laurence king

          Shannon was adopted, Tyson and Shannon’s mothers come from the same village. Shannon wasn’t given Australian residency. Tyson was born in Wales and his father is Welsh .

        • Human

          Thanks. It looks as though I had one name correct, and nothing else…that is the last time I use Wikipedia.

  • Cameron Rivett

    The Rebels looked good at times but there are still some very worrying signs. The Reds would certainly have beaten this Highlanders outfit if it had been lacking the Smiths as well as Tevita Li.

    The Rebels completely took their foot off the pedal in the last 20 minutes for some reason. Perhaps even worse is their complete inability to successfully defend their own line for more than a handful of phases. They got very lucky that Frizell dropped the ball over the line because almost every other incursion into their 22 by the Highlanders resulted in a try. They need to hire a strong defence coach fast.

  • joy

    Those that sound off here about Rebels defence would be well served if they first paid a visit to a statistician.
    As a team their success rate was over 90%. Faulkner, Rangi, Philip, Naisarani, Meakes, English, and Haylett-Petty all shouldered the load with perfect scores. Laggards included Jones who made 15 from 16, Koroibete and Talekai 6/7, Wilkin 9/11. Cotterell understandedly mlssed 2 of 4. Genia missed 1 of 3 and Maddocks 2 of 6.
    Cooper critics still won’t be satisfied. He went looking for work with 10 from 13 or 77%.
    The Highlanders completed 85% of their tackles.

    • John Tynan

      Into ‘em Joy!!

    • Huw Tindall

      If the opposition has 80% of possession those 10% of missed tackles add up. At 65 mins in the second half the Highlanders legit had that much due to sh!t kicking from Rebs. Im glad they won and am backing them but they did lose their way in the second half.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks for that. Points an intersting picture doesnt it. Compare that to last week:
      Missed tackle % Reds 21.8% Tahs 36.3% Ponies. 16.9%.
      So a tackle success rate of 90% looks pretty bloody good.

    • Cameron Rivett

      Tackle success rate isn’t the only measure of success. The issue was being soft when defending in tight. They were easily pushed back in contact on their own try line. The almost try in the 79th minute was the result of a long stretch of time where only the smallest man on the field (Ruru) and the slowest (Robbie Abel) were defending a 10m stretch even when the ball got very close to them. No one seemed to recognise this issue, or if they did they didn’t move to fix it. The Highlanders finally noticed it and Frizell powered right over them in his first attempt. It’s the same issue as last year, they conceded 60 tries which puts their defence at 11th best in the competition.

  • aussie rugby

    I think you are right on that QC pass. it looked a set move with Maddock’s coming over from the right wing for the overlap but he was a metre short of where he should have been… these things will sought themselves out

  • Adrian

    Thanks BL.

    I agree generally, there are plenty of good points. The Tahs loss to Canes by one point isn’t all that bad in context.

    We have seen a fair bit of consistency from Rebs and Reds, and up and down from Brums and Tahs,…but better than all down, as was the case in 2017….and to fair degree in 2018.

    I think the depth on show in most positions is really heartening.

    What is also heartening is the appearance of strategies and game plans in SR teams that will (I actually believe) translate to the Wallabies having a game plan too!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yes. My biggest hope is we are starting to see some really good combinations. Reds Front Row. Brumbies back row. Rebs 9/10 (with good alternates in Red and Brumbies). And a bunch of stellar back littered throughout the clubs. The clubs are also starting to have some good game plans too. The million dollar question is whether Cheika will adopt them. Of that I am not confidant.

      • Ed

        Your last point in pertinent. My fear is he will think that what worked for him in 2014 at the Tahs and 2015 with the Wobs is the game plan. I hope not, but we won’t know until the RC where there will be little time to reinvent game plans as those matches are the last hit outs before Japan.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate you change of alliance seems to be paying off. I think against a better team they would have lost that and while the Highlanders will be disappointed they couldn’t pull it off again the Rebels deserved this win. They played very well and I’m starting to thinks Meakes will challenge Kerevi for the 12 jersey. Of course assuming Cheika can see past Beale and Hunt.
    QC and Genia are playing well together and it’s great to watch
    Koroibete is proving the liability I’ve often mentioned. No idea about rugby and if he wears a yellow jersey this year it’ll be a travesty.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep 100%.
      Marika K is a dead set liability. Meakes is looking better everyday. Kerevi will get better and we will have serious competition for positions. Well in the real world we would.
      Not sure the Ass Clown sees it that way!

  • Approved

  • joy

    Meakes and Cooper blend well together. English fits in well too. So where will Hodge fit in? Wing?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Super-sub? There is always something good about a guy that can kick penalties from the half way line.

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Agree 100% about Cooper. Was rather annoyed by the Articles author and the typical negative narrative towards Quade. “QUADE tried a miracle ball” they say. Well news flash…. it went directly into the players hands who was unmarked with probably near 10m of open space till the fullback in front of him. Anything could have resulted from that. … the least of it some great metres and forward moment and pressure……but NO. Quade may as well have dropped it cold himself. ….you know. .. simple ball skills!

    • Scott Rea

      Maybe my rocks and diamonds comment was too harsh. But just wanted to highlight that his genius created tries for Maddocks and Meakes but that there were bad outcomes such as Highlanders gaining 65 metres after his pass out the back and the pass to Naisarani which resulted in a knock on. It looked like to me that it was Cooper’s pass that was the main problem at the end but perhaps it was Maddocks or a combination of both. In terms of the pass to Naisarani, Isi had a player right behind him so I thought Quade should have held onto the ball. Cooper might be too brilliant for some of his teammates. In terms of negative narrative you must have missed my comments about “magic hands”, “ball on a string” and “definitely be in my Wallaby squad.” I am a big fan of Quade Cooper and am very glad that he is playing for the Rebels. He is definitely too good to be wasted in club rugby for an entire season.

  • Andy

    Maddocks is a good player but surely he is the most overhyped player in Oz rugby ?

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Rubbish. He is a very smart backline player who knows how to make breaks,make metres, score tries and good defence. He has attacking vision. That not only is very rare….. It’s something that players outside someone like Quade Cooper who creates lots of opportunities, will gel very well together. The Wallabies haven’t had that for years now.

      • Andy

        I’d be picking banks over him. But not withstanding, a good player with what appears to be a high ceiling. Just hasn’t reached it yet, especially defensively

  • Nutta

    Morning

    The disappointing thing for me was that the Rebel Scum allowed the skirt-wearers to get that close that such defence was needed on the line. However…

    Much improved showing from the Rebel Front Row on that back of Tetris, Rangi and Talakai. Rangi was my MOTM and Talakai looked good after being a bit of a journey-man and not quite hitting the mark for a while now.

    Completely agree with Singapore that quick taps kill Koala’s. That’s actually a great message to teach young tearaways – ‘Hold on mate. Is this worth killing a Koala over?’ Good call. Apologies in-advance for the plaguarising that will now ensue.

    Marty Banks is a bloody good footballer.

    Marika K has terrible bloody hands. I feel like a traitor saying that about a Fijian. I hope I didn’t just kill another Koala. Maybe a Quokka?

Melbourne Rebels

More in Melbourne Rebels

  • Rebels rolled by the Bulls

    Another loss for the Melbournians against a South African team may cost them a spot in the finals....

  • Thursday’s Rugby News

    Thursdays Rugby News sees Cooper cleared to play, Reds see improvement, Egon Seconds Dropped, and meet the Uelese...

  • Preview: Rebels v Bulls

    The Rebels are hosting the Bulls in a match which should be an absolute cracker. Both sides...

  • Tuesday’s Rugby News

    Tuesdays’s Rugby News sees Matt Toomua back in Australia, Internal and External attack coach candidates, Rising take on...