Rebels outplayed by the Chiefs - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Rebels outplayed by the Chiefs

Rebels outplayed by the Chiefs

The Rebels ended their season with another punishing loss, this time 59-8 as the Chiefs inflicted another humiliating loss to end another losing season.

It was all or nothing for the Melbourne Rebels tonight. Earlier in Invercargill the Highlanders rolled the Waratahs to go to 36 points on the ladder, taking the virtual 8th spot away from the Rebels but this heavy loss ended their hope of an historical playoff berth.

Despite a promising start of the season and an impressive roster, the Rebels closed another season with more losses than wins.

The Chiefs came into this match needing a bonus point win and a good boost of their for/against. They got both 5 points and a +51 to give themselves the best options possible in the finals.

The Rebels were their worst enemy in the first half when they gave away three tries to the Chiefs. In the second half the Rebels were completely out played by the Chiefs.

The return of the warrior:

 

The Game

At the 8th minute the Rebels had the first opportunity to put some points on the scoreboard. Albeit captain Haylett-Petty decided to go for the 5 pointer but they lost the line-out.

A shiver went through the backs of the spectators 2 minutes after when Koroibete and Stevenson collided. The Rebel dropped to the ground shaking his legs, fortunately Koroibete managed to stand up again after a couple of worrying minutes. He obviously did not return.

At the 13th minute the first real opportunity for the Chiefs and the first try for the New Zealanders. Debreczeni caught a Cooper’s kick, broke the line and the ball went quickly through the hands of the Chiefs with Sam Cane finishing off under the posts. 0-7.

Four minutes later the Rebels had another penalty from a kickable position and this time DHP asked Hodge to go for the points. The powerful boot didn’t failed and the Melburnians got one back.

Cooper gifted another try to the Chiefs with a second botched kick. The grubber bounced into Stevenson’s legs and the winger ran 50 metres unopposed to cross the chalk. 3-14 with the conversion.

Stevenson celebrates his first try:

The game could have turned ugly minutes after when the Debreczeni showed his former team how to execute a midfield grubber, unfortunately for the visitors their forwards couldn’t control the ball and the dangerous attack ended up in a defensive scrum for the hosts 10 metres from their try line.

A good passage of play from the Rebels was nullified by an offensive penalty 5 minutes to the half time. The Chiefs were able to regroup and clear their 22.

The half came to an end with the Chiefs third try when Stevenson intercepted a ball thrown by Hodge and ran towards the sticks. Boshier helped him and touched down with ease.

The Rebels paid a high price for their errors with 3 Chiefs tries being served on a silver plate.

First half score: Rebels 3 – Chiefs 21

Second Half

The Chiefs came out from the sheds firing and, like a boxer, inflicted a series of punches to their opponent on the ropes.

After just three minutes into the second half the Chiefs scored the fourth try. In this occasion the Chiefs constructed it with fine ball handling and Wainui had the easy task to touch the pill down over the chalk.

Sowakula showed fine handling skills and created space in the middle for Lienert-Brown and the visitors had their 5th 5 pointer 8 minutes into the second half. The Chiefs centre ran 40 meters with only one boot.

The Chiefs showed no mercy and went all the way just two minutes after, Alaimalo opened up with a great kick, Manu collected it and served Stevenson as the winger claimed his second try.

Former Rebels Debreczeni got another try thanks to Weber breaking the line and cutting into the middle of the defence.

Meakes came close to score at the 60th minute, but he lost possession of the ball trying to touch it down over the line.
The Rebels were able to celebrate 7 minutes later thanks to hard worker Matt Philip.

The Chiefs wasn’t going to let the home team having another go and McKenzie and Stevenson scored try number 8 and 9 for the Hamiltonians with Stevenson marking his first hat-trick in Super Rugby.

The final siren was a relief for the Rebels and their faithful.

Final Score: Melbourne Rebels 8 – Chiefs 59


The Game Changer

The third Chiefs try after the half time siren was a killer for the Rebels. The half could had finished on a more manageable 3-14, but Hodge’s pass collected by Stevenson and converted in a 5 pointer by Boshier was a blow to the hosts’ morale.

The G&GR MOTM

Stevenson was a constant danger for the Rebels, but the backs were able to dominate the game thanks to the great work of their forwards. Retallick return after his wrist injury in round 6 was excellent. Although our MOTM is All Black Sam Cane.

Wallaby Watch

Very few Rebels’ played a game worth remembering. The less disappointing was Isi Naisarani, who recently qualified for the Green and Gold. He definitely deserves a call from Michael Cheika.


The Details

Score & Scorers

Melbourne Rebels  (3):

Try: Philip
Conv.: Cooper 0/1
Pen.: Hodge 1/1


Chiefs 59 (21):
Tries: Stevenson (3), Cane, Boshier, Wainui, Linnet-Brown, Debreczeni, McKenzie
Conv.: Debreczeni 5/6, McKenzie 1/2


Cards & citings

none

Crowd

tba

  • Steve

    RAPID writeup 22! Although you could have written this story at about the 60 minute mark.

    Rabble’s 2 game tally is 8-125, what else do you need.

    Genia and Quade completely failed to fire, despite having decent ball for much of the night – When they weren’t busy losing the ball, they were doing nothing with it. DHP and Quade just aimlessly kicked the ball back all night, despite the scoreboard screaming at them to stop it. Toomua and Hodge poor skills as well.

    And diabolical defence with routine tackles being missed…Quade getting handed off by Weber and DHP’s poor attempt at a try-saver were particularly embarrassing.

    I just don’t know who I would take for the Wallabies apart from Isi – the only guy standing up for the second week in a row. Jones was poor and handled poorly again. Phillip a maybe. It was embarrassing when Fox signed off their interview with DHP with ‘see you in gold in a few weeks’ – If anyone doesn’t deserve a jersey right now, it’s DHP at 15.

    • DHP should definitely no longer be considered for the Wallabies. He gave nothing tonight or last week. Also, it’s time to send Matt back to England before RA do something stupid like give him a start.

      • Agree on Matt. USED to be a fine player even better that LLF but no longer. As you say DHP is off the boil at present BUT he will make the big squad. On form though Beale and Banks are way in front of him.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate it starts pushing the names from the Tahs we all, well lots of us, hate but no one is stepping up. I wouldn’t bother with either Hodge or DHP both are slow, make poor decisions and have handling issues. Jones struggles at lock, WC is doing more wrong than right, Toomua was poor 2 weeks in a row and Genia is getting worse not better. I’m thinking maybe Powell and Hegarty should be looked at harder as they’re doing no worse than the incumbents and a lot better in some areas

      • Steve

        Good point KRL – players needed to really scream out if they were to unseat the incumbents and overcome Cheik’s bias and they mostly haven’t done enough.

        I’d probably have Hegarty before Quade now (not that that will happen), and for sure Powell > Genia

    • Hoss

      It’s ok though Steven Hoiles has a plan. Apparently we don’t have the cattle for 4 teams so we should cut a team. This all rings a bell for some reason.

      • Steve

        I say ditch the Brumbies – waste of talent. Rebels are doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

        • Hoss

          Let’s start a petition

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha I heard that. What a twatt

  • Wow, having Will and Quade back sure lifted the Rebels..

  • Hoss

    For mine it proves beyond doubt, the Rebels are an 8 point better side with Sanchez and The Sunshine Band in the run-on.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I bet you were swearing a lot mate

      • Hoss

        I thought the Rebs were unlucky. They created a heap of try assists….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Try assists to the opposition don’t really count mate

  • Well what can one say – perhaps (PERHAPS) four/five Rebels for the Wallaby Squad:
    Nisirani
    DHP
    Adam Coleman (if fit)
    Will Genia (maybe)
    Hodge (maybe)

    Probably a blessing that the Rebels won’t be representing Australia in the finals!

    • Hoss

      Yep. If form from the second half of the season was paramount for gold selection these guys wouldn’t make the 31:

      – Genia
      – Cooper
      – Hodge
      – DHP
      – Jones
      – Philip

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Luckily the play for a coach who doesn’t use form as a guide

      • IIPA

        I think Philip played pretty well last night but was shit like all of them the week before. Every other match he’s been good.

        Two weeks in a row Meakes has gone alright whilst all the backs around him committed all sorts of clusterfuckery.

        Right now I wouldn’t feed Hodge, DHP, Maddocks, Toomua, Genia, Cooper, Jones or Rangi let alone consider them for Wbies.

        Team would be:
        Slipper, FF, AAs, Rodda, Arnold, McCaff, Hooper, ISI, Powell, LLF, Beale, Kerevi, TK, Rona, Banks

        Res: Sio, BPA, Tupou, Philip, Cusack or Samu, Phipps, Foley, Meakes or Pulu

        But I’m coming round to selecting almost an entire Brumbies team plus Kerevi and Hooper. Couldn’t be worse. Even guys like Muirhead. I mean where are any proper decent wingers who understand the game ? Newsome and Clark are true footballers but haven’t fired the second half of the season and Super rugby is prob their peak.

        Last two weeks of Tahs and Rebels to paraphrase BLL have been fucking appalling.

        Only positive I could find in 160min last night was Magnays aggro and strong running but he’s a 13 not a winger.

        Geez our sense of when to and execution of kicking is diabolical.

        • Hoss

          Not much to argue with mate. Rangi is an impostor, tries hard, but little impact and he gives away far too many penalties. If he’s ever in gold I am discovering my inner Kiwi. Learn their anthem (actually it is a bloody ripper – I don’t even know what ‘girt’ is) and learn to love sheep – literally.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Nick Bishop said during the week that Cooper would be his starting Wallaby 10. I disagree on that, but he should certainly make the squad when you compare his season to Foley’s.

      Let’s be honest, at least Naisarani, Quade, DHP, Genia, Hodge, Toomua and Meakes should make the squad.

      • Geoffro

        Quade has lost me in the back half of the season.He was being touted as the man to spark the attack back into life but that guy is Kerevi – playing at 12 and not bloody 13.

      • Andy

        QC has been terrible the back end of the season but agree, he’s been better than Foley over the stretch. Not by much though…

        On the proviso the other teams were playing well the only guys that would make the squad on form would be Naisarani, Philip and Jones. But agree on your picks considering form is bad across the conference

      • Kevino

        Genia, Naisarani, Jones and Korobiete make the squad for me. Korobiete played well in the second half when the rest went missing. Jones as blindsided and not lock, it’s clear it’s his best position and his lineout work is probably the best in the country.

        The rest, no chance.

        All I am going to say regards the Wallabies chances, glad I support Ireland.

  • Who?

    That first half from the Rebels was far from terrible. Apart from a couple of poorly executed kicks – one of which was significantly assisted by a terrible chase, and an insanely dumb pass, the Rebels played quite well. They made something like 85 tackles against the Chiefs’ 30 tackles (both figures are rough) in the first half (Cooper making at least 9 of those 85-odd tackles). The Chiefs weren’t making great metres in possession, the Rebels were generally quite composed in defence, and looked decent – making metres – every time they had the ball (until they turned it over).
    .
    Come half time, and the Rebels clearly started to panic. That said, their defence didn’t degrade massively. Of the 6 tries scored in the second half, two were initiated attacking raids from the Chiefs (i.e. off set piece), one was when McKenzie stripped Cooper at the tackle (illegally – he was retreating to the gate of the breakdown when he knocked the ball away, Cooper was clearly tackled, so offside lines had formed (saw Genia cop a YC for similar actions years ago, under looser breakdown laws) – Gus was unsighted enough to call it a knock on against Cooper), and the remaining three were again the result of poor kicks and chases.
    .
    So, for mine, out of 9 tries, 6 were counter attack, a further try (the last one) could be argued to be counterattacking, so only 2 were defensive failings by a set Rebels defence. That’s an improvement over previous weekends. And they made a lot of tackles. Of the 6 clear counterattacking tries, the first half – when the Rebels were pushing – were from the Rebels attacking (both of Cooper’s kicks were attacking kicks, Hodge’s pass was the wrong option, but it wasn’t a defensive pass). The 3 clear counterattack tries in the second half were all off defensive play from the Rebels – long kicks that had opportunity for better chase lines, or that should’ve found touch. I can deal with turnaround tries – where an attacking play goes wrong. Defensive kicks that lead to tries? There’s no excuse for them.
    .
    Decision making started going to pot after the 4th Chiefs try, just after the half. But that was scoreboard pressure. And it wasn’t consistently wrong. Even the restarts that went out on the full – that was a clear tactic, just not as well chased by the Rebels as by the Chiefs when they tried it on their one try restart of the night.
    .
    I’m not saying the Rebels played well, I’m saying the scoreboard flatters the Chiefs a bit, and doesn’t reflect that they were massively dominant in one section of the game, but only one section of the game. The rest of the game mostly evened out. Fix the poor kicking, and that scoreline tightens up dramatically. DHP said in the post match presser that they’re not good at running the ball out of their 22, but they actually did it quite well. There was one turnover doing that (from the multiple times they tried running the ball out in the second half), when they ran out of support at the breakdown. But generally, any time they retained possession, they actually made consistent progress downfield.
    .
    I thought the Rebels forwards still need to improve their handling. It frustrates me to see honest toilers like Cottrell and Hardwick at the breakdown when we have better players like Colby Fainga’a and Liam Gill plying their trade overseas. I thought Campbell Magnay had some fantastic involvements. The midfield defence – whilst there was an issue for one set piece try with the starting team (second set piece try was after Toomua came on) – was much better than it’d been in weeks.
    .
    Truly a frustrating game. Arguably made worse by Marto’s aggravation in the commentary box. And by the fact that the Tahs sent their weakest team of the year across the ditch to ensure the Clan could get the points required to jump past the Rebels and qualify for finals. I’m not saying the Rebels deserve finals – not after the way they’ve finished their season, with the clear coaching failings – but there was no need for another Aussie team to assist the opposition like that.

    • Hoss

      Not that I am keeping count, but last 4 Kiwi V Oz games it’s 202 v 49. And we are only 49 because our worst side scored 29 of those. Take that out and the sides challenging for finals spots over last three us v them is 174 to 20.

      Just saying.

      • Who?

        Take out the Tahs (so, Rebels only), and it’s 125 – 9.
        .
        I’m not saying the Rebels deserved to win or anything like that. There’s been a lot of commentary about the Rebels kicking the ball too much. I think tonight’s arguably the greatest argument for that. Because without that terrible kicking, the game is much, much closer.

        • Hoss

          Watched the Landers v Tah’s as well mate. Their first 3 tries were from 2 shit-house kicks from us and us turned over on our ball on half way.

          It’s an epidemic.

        • Hoss

          Based on the two games so far and last 6 weeks form here’s my Wallies 23

          1-4 Ponies
          5 Simmons
          6 No idea
          7 Lee Magors
          8 Naisarini under sufference
          9. White / Powell
          10. Lilo
          11 no idea
          12 Sayonara SAMU
          13 TK
          14 maybe Speight because of TK at 13
          15 Banks

          16 Mafi / Latu / Ueleses / TPN we will take three rakes
          17 Sio / Slipper – whoever didn’t start
          18 Methuselah
          19 Rodda Coleman under sufferance
          20 Brian
          21 White / Powell
          22 Hegarty
          23. Beale

          My roughies are Dempsey , McCaff, Valentini,

        • Geoffro

          Doesn’t look like a winning side to me even if it is the best available on current form (especially that poor bastard noddy who has to cover two spots because of the dearth of candidates).

        • Keith Butler

          Bit like a place here in Tassie called U Turn Bay. Tried looking but never found it.

        • Hoss

          Agree that’s not a side to win the RWC, just so many players I thought would have been in the mix so completely out of form and I mean completely. For example, put reputations and past deeds and emotion aside. If you were an objective selector would Sanchez be anywhere near a gold side at present ? He has been outplayed comprehensively by Powell, Phipps and McDerrmott. Say what you will about Phipps, but he gives 100% every time he runs on. Gets his hands dirty in rucks (3 times Genia stood and watched his team loose the pill last night because he is scared of the rough stuff) and has a dig. Genia is more interested in new haircuts and fingernail polish. He is coasting and believes he is bullet proof and his fucking box kicks into no-mans land drive me insane.

          I know it’s only FUX Sports, but when they say to Sauce ‘see you in gold in a few weeks’ my skin crawled. Shouldn’t the question have been – you’re captain of a team who have conceded 125 to 8 in your last two outings. You also failed to get a 5 points of a possible 32 in your last 8 games, which would have secured you a final, Dane isn’t it a reality that none of you should make the Wallaby squad ?

          Keppler summed it up best in his post game interview – ‘we don’t deserve to be in the finals. We are soft and give up to easy and need to recruit some mongrel’

          There’s no upside for the Wallabies in the Rebs missing out. The players won’t find form sitting in the beach or by training. They needed to play more rugby.

        • Geoffro

          Yup,but the sad thing is that Cheiks will use the RC to try and play the likes of DHP,Hodge,Toomua,Coleman,Genia into form (reckon Quade has a snowballs now) and the other guys will get a run against – who is it ? Samoa…pffft.I hope the Brumbies candidates really rip it up in their next few games

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          And you know Cheika will pick up on this as going harder and “more mongrel” is part of his grand tactical plan. I think the RC will see more of the same niggle and crap to try and put the other teams off their game. It won’t work of course and the referee will get the blame

        • Geoffro

          Its all we got probably with his mindset.Our backs are so slow compared to the Pumas or AB’s , if we match them up front they’ll just change tack and blow us away out wide and the Boks will beat us in a game of niggle and crap.I reckon it’s gonna be ugly and my only hope for the WC is that it is knockout footy and the gods align (provided we can get past the pool.)

        • Keith Butler

          Bring back Sean Mc and play him at 7.

        • Hoss

          Yep – there’s no leader in that forward pack, no one for the others to follow. Bad news is the Mad Dog has a serious knee injury and has had for some time, even if he was avail he wouldn’t make the RWC. this year.

          Shame.

        • Keith Butler

          That is a real pity. Wearing my best SD hat the Rebs need a Martin Johnson like figure to captain and lead the side. Coleman was never that and never will be.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’d seriously consider Hegarty at 10. Not doing any worse than the other 3 and arguably much better in some areas

        • Hoss

          I’ve got him on the pine. If you look at the positions we have open at present, that is no one is demanding with their form they get picked:
          6,8,9,10,11,15 you know what Seagal is gonna do. Revert to type
          with Hannigan, Brian (Samu if Brian injured) Sanchez, Spanners, Koribete & Sauce.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          To be fair though, if no one is demanding to play on form what other choice does he have?

        • Who?

          Hegarty couldn’t even hold his own 10 jersey at the Reds…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That doesn’t mean he’s bad though, it just means his coaching team see a different game plan

        • Who?

          Given the Reds are his third team in three or four years, he couldn’t hold down the starting 10 over Debreczeni, Foley/Beale, and Stewart/McGahan, it’s just hard to see that he’s clearly top level.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah true. I think he shows promise though

        • Brumby Runner

          Think you’re close, Hoss, but in my world Rob Simmons would miss out and I just would not contemplate Beale in the side under any circumstances.

          I would start with Arnold and Rodda in the second row, and bring Philip into the squad as the replacement for Simmons.

          Certainly Banks should now own the No 15 spot but thereafter is anyone’s guess.

          I wait to be disappointed once again when Cheika gets to name his favoured squad/team.

        • Hoss

          Morning wild colonial boy. Forgot about bastards at 15, yep, he deserved the gig. I am setting me expectations low for selections, less painful to fall from a small distance than a great height.

        • Who?

          Would you really pick the drunken roller..? Surely he’s got to be severely, severely punished. Rolling into an intersection asleep at 4am whilst triple the BAC limit and driving on a provisional licence received because your full licence was suspended a month ago, I don’t see how that’s not bringing the game into disrepute, and worthy of significant punishment. Beyond that, given he’s been suspended and otherwise unavailable the vast majority of the Super season, and doesn’t have (unlike Brian) a massive portfolio of work to demonstrate he’s the clear choice for the role (he’s not even the clear choice for his province when available), I don’t see why anyone other than Seagall would consider him.

        • Hoss

          It’s been dealt with by the courts mate. $1300 fine and three month license suspension. As far as I know, no one is sitting at home contemplating suicide because of his actions, unlike……..

        • Who?

          RA had an integrity commission officer at the hearing.
          A $1300 fine and a secondary licence suspension is a greater crime than anything any other RA player has committed this year…
          And a $1300 fine for drunk driving asleep having already recently (a month before) lost his licence?! That’s a nothing penalty!

        • Hoss

          I’d like his legal team on retainer.

        • Who?

          Don’t need to worry about that until you’ve managed to get yourself sacked, Hosstafa. ;-P

        • joy

          Drunk driving asleep! What a talent.

        • Parker

          Driving a car that was stationary no less!

        • Who?

          Reporting after the trial said he’d fallen asleep at the lights, while they were red. But then his foot slipped off the brake and he rolled into the intersection.
          It’s amazing the stupid things you can do when you’re drunk behind the wheel at 4am.

        • joy

          Unlike who?

        • joy

          Its up to the court. Its not RA’s business. Sports administrators are right up themselves. They behave liken power drunk pricks.

        • Who?

          If one person can be sacked for social media, then surely someone who:
          – has lost their licence,
          – has then gone out drinking until 4am on a weeknight (how’s he supposed to function at training the next day?),
          – has jumped in their car on a suspended/provisional licence (I thought that once you lost your licence, any provisional licence was usually for getting to and from work only?),
          – has done so with a BAC three times the legal limit (without factoring in that the limit for provisional licences is generally zero),
          – has then fallen asleep at a red light, causing their foot to slide off the brake and the car to roll into an intersection, where passers by ran onto the road in order to move the car out of the way and take the keys until the police arrived,
          Some one who’s done all those things, not maintaining their capacity to do their job (i.e. being out drinking all night during training days leading up to a major match) and risking lives (his own and others), and who doesn’t inform his employer of the media risk, with all of this bringing the game into disrepute, probably deserves some form of sanction.
          I don’t know that I’d trust someone who’d been so poorly disciplined to maintain the standards required to play at the highest level. Trust would need to be earned. Slowly, over significant time.

        • Andy

          If we are looking at the backrow and take into account form McCafrey and Pete Samu have to be in the squad at a minimum. for me both are in the 23 at the moment.

          Also, Rodda partners Arnold in the row and Coleman doesn’t need to be in the team. On form he isn’t and has Sal Lotto, Simmons ahead of him.

        • Parker

          Latu???? How many have you had Hoss?

        • Who?

          I missed that game. The result wasn’t a surprise, and I probably shouldn’t be surprised the Clan were similarly harsh on poor kicking. It’s arguably their greatest strength…

        • Geoffro

          Crazy – you know that,I know that (the landers back three that each grabbed a try after no time at all) know that, and yet they still did it

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not so much kicking too much as not having a good chase to apply pressure when they did kick.

        • Who?

          Agreed, but that’s half the equation with kicking. Though the kick for the second try, that was just a really poorly executed kick. Your chase can’t fix your poor kick if the kick hits a defender. :-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I felt for Quade in that one. Tried to do something different to get some go forward and it back fired big time

    • I’m not sure without rewatching which incident you’re talking about where McKenzie stripped the ball from Quade in the tackle illegally, but from your description, what he did sounds legal. A tackle doesn’t create an offside line.

      It sounds like you need a maul, which is the ball carrier (QC) plus one additional player from each side McKenzie + another Rebel if they’re all on their feet and the ball is in the air and they both need to bound to the ball carrier, per law 16. If Cooper’s gone to ground, you still need two additional players to Cooper, one from each team, to be bound to each other and on their feet over the ball, per law 15.

      What you described, no offside line, McKenzie is allowed to strip the ball.

      • Who?

        It was the action Gardner called a ‘knock on’ at about 75 minutes, where the ball went to the Chiefs, who spread it for the final try to be scored on the right wing (immediately – not further tackles).
        .
        Law 14.8:
        Other players must:
        (c): Arrive at the tackle from the direction of their own goal line before playing the ball.
        Sanction: Penalty.
        .
        Cooper had been tackled to ground, he was clearly held, lying on his back. The tackler hadn’t released, Cooper was looking to pop the ball (moved it side to side to try and find what was coming downfield). McKenzie was not the tackler (not that it’s relevant under the new 2016 laws), he was previously uninvolved and was running back to get behind the ball. But in running towards his tryline, he reached out and knocked the ball from Cooper’s hands towards his own (McKenzie’s) tryline, before passing Cooper and being able to enter from the direction of his own tryline.
        .
        So, effectively, the penalty is entering the breakdown from an offside position. As the tackle immediately creates the ‘gate’.
        .
        You’re right, though, in terms of creation of offside lines. The tackle doesn’t create the offside line – that’s the 2016 law (which was stupid). The current law is :
        Law 14.10
        Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.
        .
        Which is slightly less stupid that the 2016 law (I prefer the old law – no offside lines until a ruck is formed).
        .
        So, the current law is that the tackle doesn’t create the offside lines, neither does the ruck. A single player on their feet entering the breakdown creates the offside line. In a game with countless terms for every situation in the game, we’ve created a new situation without a name. The insanity of WR’s law changes never fails to frustrate me…
        .
        It doesn’t change the score, doesn’t change that the Chiefs deserved to win (wasn’t the only try I thought was dubious – I wasn’t sure the last pass for Lienart-Brown’s try wasn’t forward, either), it only makes my analysis about the Rebels finally being a bit more secure on set defence than previous weeks (though still not great at the transition from attack to defence) slightly less emphasized, given I’m focusing on how many tries were scored off poor kicking and chasing.

        • ok, as described I agree. I will try to gird up my loins enough to watch closely. Not feeling all that brave about it right now tbh.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Go gird those loins mate

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I just looked at that in slow motion and I think Gardner was spot on. Quade was never held in the tackle the No 5 released him and then went for the Jackle but wasn’t set. The only Rebels were No 16 who had over run and was coming back and 21 who was standing to receive the ball. No one else was over the ball so no ruck and McKenzie was perfectly entitled to play for the ball.
          If I’d been refereeing I’d have allowed it to continue as well.

        • Who?

          McKenzie was entitled to play for the ball – no question. The question is whether Quade was held (I thought he was – I can’t access a replay at present), and if he was, then McKenzie – whilst entitled to play at the ball – needed to do so by coming through the gate. Which he didn’t do.
          .
          As mentioned, though, it didn’t make a difference to the result, it’s only about my analysis of the source of the tries.

    • Keith Butler

      Good report. It was indeed frustrating. The amount of ball we gifted to the Chiefs due to a very poor kicking game and elementary errors was embarrassing. Lots to reflect on during the off season. Big mistake by the Rebs in losing Colby. He was a consistent turnover winner at the breakdown something that we totally lack.

      • Missing Link

        So true, Wessels seems to have employed a South African style back row policy where size is paramount and there’s no set ‘fetcher’, but all 3 should share the load, without any in particular being a specialist. Colby Faingaa was a good fetcher and Jordy Reid wasn’t bad either, both no longer with the Rebels.

        • Keith Butler

          Thanks for reminding me, Jordy was pretty decent as well. Bugs me to think of the good forwards that we have lost.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m not sure the scoreboard flatters the Chiefs so much as show that they were very good at taking the chances that were on offer and capitalising on the mistakes that the Rebels made. I think overlooking those mistakes to try and find some good isn’t going to help the ongoing development and changes that need to occur

      • Who?

        No doubt the Chiefs took their opportunities well. I’m just pointing out that it was a singular area of significant difference between the sides. Apart from run metres (which is heavily impacted by all the long range turnover tries), the stats between the two teams are actually quite similar.
        .
        If you had a scrum or lineout completely fail in a game, you wouldn’t lose by such a margin off the failing in that one area alone. A scrum that couldn’t escape without being penalized wouldn’t see a team score 50+ points against you, provided you were equal everywhere else. Yet the Rebels allowed tries on roughly 20% of kick returns, and that has seen them cop 33 points of 59.
        .
        Add in Hodge’s pass, there’s another 7, add in the strip on Cooper (I’ll address that where I raised it before), there’s another 5. That’s 45 points out of 59 that are directly off turnovers/kick returns, the transition between attack and defence. It’s an area that pays massive rewards on the scoreboard (hence why Kiwi teams have worked hard to maximise their capacity to take advantage of those situations for years now), and clearly more than similar failure rates in other areas of the game.
        .
        So whilst it looks on the scoreboard as though the Chiefs totally dominated the Rebels, if you look at the stats in isolation from the scoreboard, about the only stats that might suggest it was a rout are run metres and defenders beaten, all of which are a result of those kick return/transition/turnover tries.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I guess it’s like a number of years ago the English were touring NZ and their scrum was awesome and killing ours. In one test after a big scrum one of the English props said to one of ours “how’s that for a good scrum” our guy replied “it was fantastic but we just scored a try” the point is that being dominant or not in any area only matters if you get points from them. The Rebs were good and fronted up in a lot of areas but couldn’t score so is it actually a relevant statistic

        • Who?

          Totally agree, just pointing out the absolute desolation in the comments on here, as if the Rebels had been absolutely destroyed in all facets. When it wasn’t a completely horrible performance. There were facets that were quite good. The Chiefs edged the scrums, the Rebs probably edged ahead in other facets… It’s just one area that needs significant attention. That’s achievable (it doesn’t require extra aggression), and so while last night was a pretty ordinary night, it shouldn’t all be doom and gloom.

  • I haven’t watched this properly yet, I was meant to be working when it was on my iPad as I was “working” on the main screen. I’m not sure I want to… But from what I saw, and at the risk of sounding like I’m saying “I told you so” it looked like a team with cohesion and plenty of big game experience – SR knockout stages, RWC knock out stages and so on – against a group of stars and others who aren’t really a team (there may or may not be a yet deserved at the end of that, not 100% sure).

    The big names for the Chiefs sat down, or rather stood up, gathered their troops around them and were counted. They did all those horrible sports writer clichés and led by example, showed up when it mattered, showed leadership and pulled their team mates up to their level.

    For the Rebels, there was clearly a plan A – pin the Chiefs back. It wasn’t working well but it wasn’t working terribly. The coaches needed to change that, but when 10 and 15 are sticking to the plan and the rest of the team forget it – one of the senior players on the pitch needs to tell someone either “remember guys, the plan is they kick, we chase” or “hey guys, we switched to plan B, you’re meant to be passing now, right?”

    Meanwhile the Chiefs adapted, ran kicks back better, isolated players better and ran riot.

  • Richard Patterson

    Once again we learn a team of stars does not always make a star team. This makes for an intriguing end of season review because the statistics show that as the Rebels should have been building towards a play-off berth they began faltering. The run-up to the finals was an unmitigated disaster – summed up by the shambolic bus crash last week in Christchurch and now this concluding mess in front of your home fans.

    Anyone holding their breath waiting to see who amongst this supposedly star-studded playing group puts their hands up to take accountability?

    Anyone now of the view that Dave Wessels is little more than a nice guy – but well out of his depth as a Super Rugby Head Coach?

    A season that promised so much for the Melbourne Rebels ended with a Where To Now for the Melbourne Rebels? One thing is clear that playing group and that coaching staff failed. Who pays the price?

    • Geoffro

      I haven’t really considered the Rebs a team full of stars.Reckon stars are consistently good over an extended period of time interspersed with truly world class performances (Genia would be my only one in that category and he’s lost form again) but they have a good roster and as you rightly say the finger needs to be pointed at the coaching staff.Seemed to me like Quade,Genia,DHP and Hodge (the so called stars,and I didn’t see too much of Toomua because I switched off before the end in disgust) were given the green light to do what they wanted in a Hail Mary type gameplan and that didn’t end well did it? QC defended well (so he should after some of his embarassing hiccups that led to early tries.) Honestly ,the Rebs should be sent off to Rapid Rugby (where they’d probably get their noses bloodied by the Force). How good are Cane and Retallick ?? the way they play after long absences – those guys are STARS.Only hope Poey could return with such impact if he makes it back for the WC

      • Richard Patterson

        Perhaps you are correct Geoffro. Perhaps too much is made of Adam Coleman when compared to other great international lock forwards. Perhaps Will Genia is a guy who increasingly every season falls into form slumps he seemingly cannot get himself out of. Perhaps Quade Cooper is what many think he is. A guy who was talented back 8-10 years ago but has been worked out and failed to evolve his game. Perhaps Hodge, Haylett-Petty and Koroibete make a Wallabies squad because there in no one better – not because they week in, week out play like international quality professionals. Perhaps Toomua is what some suspect him to be – a capable 10 and a capable 12, but no real threat at either. Perhaps there are too many journeymen in that squad who represent a soft underbelly.

        Given the very messy backdrop from which this Rebels squad was formed, this is a very disappointing setback for Rugby in Australia. This squad needed to progress and push into legitimate playoff contenders. Instead they fell on their face. Most disturbing is I’m not certain we are any the wiser as to what went wrong here – in particular the unraveling that took place in the 2nd half of the season. The end of season review will make compelling reading.

        • Keith Butler

          Don’t know whether it’s a case of too many journeymen more of players who can play in different positions, particularly the likes of Hodge, Toomua, English, Maddocks, DHP. As they say, jack of all trades but master of none. There needs to be a really honest review of the season, both in relation to the players and coaching staff and if tough decisions need to be made then so be it. The Rebs have a decent squad but if they don’t make the finals next year I for one will be extremely pissed off.

        • juswal

          Perhaps you’ll stop turning up here to gloat whenever an Australian team is badly beaten in NZ.

          But probably not.

        • Richard Patterson

          Not gloating at all Juswal. Merely reflecting back on a very messy forced marriage of the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels that caused significant damage to the sport in Australia. The Rebels needed to be good this year to help heal some of those wounds. The results this season would indicate that has been a missed opportunity.

          What is your opinion on the way forward for the Melbourne Rebels?

  • Custard Taht

    The last half of the season for the Rebels has gone from bad to worse then to abysmal.
    Yes, the players need to own their part, but the team has gone backwards in every facet.
    Whatever Wessels and the coaching team are selling, the players are not buying, and Wessels has lost the locker room.
    The team was never the same after the Saffa tour.

    • Hoss

      The scary thing is Shaun Byrne their attack coach is a possible for the Wallabies gig. The Rebels last 11 games and 8 points in final two games should end that discussion.

      • MalachyBernard

        What changed halfway through the Rebel season? I saw an article suggesting that some midfield changes dented the attack somewhat, but that can’t be the whole explanation.

        • Custard Taht

          Those switches also could have dented the morale and the teams confidence in the coach.
          The Rebs attack was potent, and scoring enough points to win games. The changes were unnecessary and seemed more about making room for “names”, than about improving the team.

        • Keith Butler

          Very true CT too many ‘names’ particularly in the backs. Having a Toomua back may only add to the problem.

        • Hoss

          Sanchez said something interesting post match along the lines of they didn’t change their attacking plans at all during the year and opposition sides worked them out after 3-4 rounds and nullified the ‘attack flat’ game plan.

          So either:

          a. the players had no input into changing it
          b. They were told not too – or
          c. No one thought to alter it

          Either way coaches and players are all culpable

          I would say though I don’t see Genia as much of a ‘team’ guy – he strikes me as a turd actually.

        • Keith Butler

          As you said Hoss he doesn’t like to get his hands dirty.

        • Geoffro

          Truth be said though,they came up against a chiefs team that had been able to adapt when down 22 zip to run over the Saders in their previous game.They’re going to be a tough opponent to anyone if they make the finals.

        • Geoffro

          His box kicks are turds-man they irritate me.

      • Custard Taht

        When you look at the Rebs up to and including the Saffa tour, you could see why he was talked about. The rebs are/were in top 3 in the entire comp for points and tries.
        For the most part, the Rebs have easily scored enough points to win most of their games, but the defence has been about as effective as the French Maginot line.
        There is something amiss inside the stockade. With the enemy at the gate, instead of repelling the invaders and counter attacking, they opened up the gate and their britches!

        I think Wessels benching in-form players and some of his selections may have led to the players switching off.

      • Singapore Sling

        Tom Carter is locked in a Wallaby attack coach.

        • Hoss

          Don’t even joke about that. That name still sends shivers

    • Geoffro

      Other teams obviously worked them out and they never had the nous to compensate – coaching and I don’t think Wessels had the balls to rein in some of his senior players – if he’d reached out to (or been reached out to by) Jake the Snake earlier I reckon they’d be in the quarters.

      • Custard Taht

        They were worked out for sure.

        I am not sold on him reining in the senior players. They seemed to be following the game plan, albeit with oft poor execution. I think the tight reins have caused issues between the players and coach.

        They players could see Plan A wasn’t working, but weren’t given any rein to play what was in front of them. The players lost belief in the plan and coach.

        Wessels needed to let go of the reins a bit more, not tighten them.

        • Geoffro

          Genia’s incessant risky box kicking (he’s just not a good exponent of the art) and Quades low percentage little dinks off the toe are two things Wessels should have rubbed out.What was in front of them was yet another Kiwi side which thrives on the counterattack and surely a smart coach is going to have a word

        • Who?

          Those are both pretty common Saffa options, though. They were both in the repertoire when the Rebels were winning, and when they were losing.
          .
          I agree that they needed to change, I’m not sold that the senior players weren’t following the prescribed game plan. Even listening to DHP in the post match interview last night, “We made mistakes when we were running the ball back, we don’t normally do that and we’re not very good at it.” When, if you look at the outcomes they had from keeping the ball in hand in their own half and running out from the 22, they were actually better than most teams do, and no worse than when they were kicking. The Rebels one try was a long range effort from their own 22. But the captain’s buying the coach’s misunderstandings of his team.

        • Geoffro

          Sure and all halves use the box kick more than to my liking but Genia seems to have more charge downs against him and inneffectual results than most.Regards the game plan it probably proscribed to giving Genia and Quade the latitude to use those riky plays when they see fit.The Chiefs defence was in their face but the methods of getting behind it were low % and as you say , when they kept the ball in hand they were getting better results…….I think ??

        • Who?

          I can’t remember Genia getting charged down recently. He wasn’t charged down by the Chiefs or Tahs. His kicks were a little long against the Chiefs, but that’s not uncommon, and surely if Wessels was unhappy with it, he’d fix it.
          .
          In terms of ‘risky plays’, I don’t know that they’re unplanned. I think the first chip, which Debreczeni used to break the line leading to the first try, was pre-programmed. It was clearly organized on the field, as Meakes and the player outside him chased hard. They just didn’t bother looking where the kick had gone…
          The second kick, it was on, it was just poorly executed. If the players outside Cooper had held a little more depth, he may have ‘just’ passed the ball, which was still an option, but they would’ve been very flat passes (the chasers were barely onside, and wouldn’t have stayed onside for another step).
          The rest of the game, I don’t recall Cooper trying anything significantly risky.
          .
          And these tactics are very South African. South African teams love the box kick and the short chip or grubber kick. It’s something that’s been seen across a lot of Saffa teams. And if Wessels didn’t want Genia and Cooper using them, they’d have stopped using them. They’ve been very disciplined and consistent in their game plan this year.
          .
          A much bigger complaint would be that the Rebels have no plan B on attack. It’s attack flat (even the kicks through on attack were flat), no variation. If there’s no quick ball, no domination of the contact zone, then the Rebels are dead in attack. And even if there is, there’s no guarantee the forwards won’t drop the pill.
          .
          But against the Chiefs, they were making ground running out of their own 22 most times. Yet DHP says in the presser after the game, “We’re not very good at that.” That sounds like coached belief – if you’re making metres running the ball out of your 22, you don’t normally say afterwards, “We’re not good at it.”

        • Geoffro

          Fair calls,I s’pose my criticisms are a bit more result driven,I’m not as good as you at looking on the bright side :)

        • Who?

          I’m not looking at the bright side. I’m looking at a team that’s being coached to play a single method – to follow the game plan regardless. That’s not good enough. It’s as stupid as ‘play what’s in front of you’ without any further plan. There has to be an understanding from the coaching staff that the plan is something to create opportunities, and there needs to be flexibility.
          .
          I’m not happy with the results. But I can live with results if I see progress. I don’t see progress in the second half of the season – I see regression, with partnerships that were working being broken up, inability to adapt to oppositions, and a misunderstanding of what’s driving poor results.
          .
          I’m just not seeing the issues you’re raising as the major problems. If I saw them as the major factor, I’d call them out. I honestly don’t think box kicking is Genia’s best option. He’s got a great territorial kicking game from the ruck, which gets underused when he’s instructed to box. I’m thinking lots of low trajectory, end-over-end kicks that run into touch. I’d rather see those options used more freely. But I also can’t recall seeing Genia charged down that frequently – in fact, in the games I’ve seen this year, I can’t recall seeing him charged down. I’ve seen almost everyone else charged down, but (mostly) not our scrummies.

  • Andy

    Completely outclassed. I know the chiefs had all the ball but I think it was their intensity in D when they didn’t have the ball that won them the game. It just demolished the Rebels game plan and created forced and eventual unforced errors through a complete lack of confidence. The rebels simply lost their way by the 41 minute mark and non of the teams leaders stood up and lead.

    And this is the ingredient to beating Australian teams and has been for some time.
    – Be aggressive in D
    – Don’t drop tackles
    – create the turnovers through forced and unforced errors
    – Attack at will as defensively they are pretty much all

    Had the Chiefs played that game against another kiwi team they never would have won that easily as the opposition would have immediately put their attack under huge pressure through good aggressive defence.
    Our teams are clearly unable to do the same

Melbourne Rebels
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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 http://australiasport.org or better not

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