Rebels thrash brave understrength Sunwolves - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Rebels thrash brave understrength Sunwolves

Rebels thrash brave understrength Sunwolves

The Rebels had a big home win thrashing the Sunwolves 40-13.

The Rebels went into this match needing a big win to keep in touch with both the Waratahs at the top of the Australian conference and with the top eight. The Sunwolves, on the other hand, were coming off two wins in a row. Although a significant number of Sunwolves, including coach Jamie Joseph, were rested for the Japanese tests v Italy and Georgia.

First half

After receiving an early penalty the Sunwolves had a lineout just outside the Rebels’ 22. The Sunwolves had seven phases where they did not gain too much ground, but then they sent the ball wide. Where Lomano Lava Lemeki blew down the wing to see the Sunwolves score inside two and a half minutes. Hayden Parker added the conversion to give the Sunwolves a 7-0 lead.

Billy Meakes threw a dummy around halfway and went through the Sunwolves’ line untouched. After running 30 metres he passed to the flying Fijian Marika Koroibete. Reece Hodge levelled the scores with the conversion.

The Rebels were again on the board after 16 minutes when Michael Ruru poked his nose through the line on the Sunwolves’ 22 and sent Jack Maddocks into a gap. Maddocks broke one tackle before diving in under the posts. Hodge’s conversion made the score 14 to 7.

The Rebels built pressure on the Sunwolves with 13 phases when Shunsuke Nunomaki was penalised for not releasing in the tackle. Following the attacking line out Japanese international Amanaki Mafi scored for the Rebels. Hodge made the score 21 to 7.

Mafi was penalised after a bullocking run for holding on to the ball in the ruck, Hayden Parker kicked a penalty goal to reduce the Rebels’ lead to 21-10. After some sustained pressure from the Sunwolves, Hayden Parker kicked a penalty from right in front after the Rebels were penalised for not releasing in the tackle.

The Rebels had a scrum feed from 30 metres out on half time. After five phases, Dane Haylett-Petty put down a pass from Michael Ruru five metres out from the try line. Unfortunately, Haylett-Petty was running at speed and the pass was hard and fast and Haylett-Petty couldn’t handle the ball. The Rebels went to half time with a 21 – 13 lead. The Rebels have struggled in a number of games this year to convert a half time lead into a win. Could the Rebels hold onto the lead during the second half?

Second half

The Rebels had a scrum feed about 35 metres out from the Sunwolves’ tryline. Amanaki Mafi picked up the ball from the base of the scrum running for 10 metres. Ruru then passed to captain Adam Coleman, who charged over the advantage line.

Ruru found Billy Meakes who passed on to Dane Haylett-Petty. Haylett-Petty with quick hands found Jack Maddocks, who ran fifteen metres and dived over in the corner. Maddocks celebrated his new two year contract with two tries. Reece Hodge kicked the conversion from the sideline.

The Rebels gained 50 metres from the kick off after 15 phases. However, Sam Talakai was a little impatient and tried to offload in the tackle. The only success he had was to hit Sunwolves hooker Jada Bregvadze and the ball bounced off him and the Sunwolves were able to regather.

Hosea Saumaki made a charge down the left wing gaining 50 metres including a step around Dane Haylett-Petty and looked set to score before Jack Maddocks came across and put him into touch.

The Sunwolves were attacking and good pressure from Adam Coleman in the tackle forced a sloppy pass. Marika Koroibete soccered the loose ball off the ground twice, Tom English popped a ball to Billy Meakes who flicked passed it to Angus Cottrell. Cottrell tried to pass of the ground near the try line but Saumaki, who tackled Cottrell knocked the ball back without getting back on side.  He was sinbinned for a cynical and professional infringement but because there was another defender in the vicinity a penalty try was not awarded.

From the penalty the Rebels opted for a scrum and the Rebels had another penalty advantage from the scrum. Maddocks tried in vain to score his third try but he was just short. The Rebels went back to the scrum and received an additional penalty. From the third scrum the Rebels went from one side of the ground to the other with a pass from Haylett-Petty seeing Koroibete go over for a double.

After seven phases from the kickoff Koroibete received the ball outside the 22. Koroibete threw a dummy, slipped a tackle and flew over the line for a hat trick.

Winger Lemeki made a fifty metre break down the right wing for the Sunwolves. The ball went from one wing to the other and looked promising for the Sunwolves when Saumaki had the ball. However, Sefanaia Naivalu had other ideas absolutely smashing Saumaki.

The match came to a close with just what the doctor ordered for the Melbourne Rebels a 40-13 bonus point victory.

The Game Changer

I am not sure the Game Changer was anything that happened on the field. It was when the Sunwolves got “Cherry Blossomed” with a large chunk of the Sunwolves being rested for the test team.


Amanaki Mafi as always was heavily involved with his hard running as well as scoring a try. Marika Koroibete scored a hat trick and Jack Maddocks scored a double. Billy Meakes was involved in a couple of crucial attacking plays and was also strong in defence. Whilst Michael Ruru had a good game, because he wasn’t noticed. I will pick Koroibete in this instance.

Wallaby Watch

Koroibete showed how dangerous he can be when he is in open space, scoring a hat trick. Maddocks continued to show why he has big wraps on him. Adam Coleman had one of his better games for the Rebels. Reece Hodge didn’t do anything wrong in the number 10 jersey.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Rebels 40

Tries: Marika Koroibete 3, Jack Maddocks 2, Amanaki Mafi

Conversions: Reece Hodge 5/6

Sunwolves 13

Tries: Lomano Lava Lemeki

Conversions: Hayden Parker 1/1

Penalty goals: Hayden Parker 2/2

Crowd: TBC


Hosea Saumaki 63’ cynical play

  • Brumby Runner

    Maddocks was impressive in attack and defense. A very good prospect.

    Cottrell was active in the lineout, taking a number of throws for the Rebels. Wouldn’t be out of place in the Wallabies squad to cover the No 6 spot.

  • jay-c

    I lost count of the amount of times I saw hodge cleaning out a ruck, he was so often involved that he was rarely in position to control he backline, very disappointing game at 10.
    Equally disappointing, was that the players around him allowed it to continue throughout the game.
    Dunno what I saw in ruru last year, he’s a poor 9 and no doubt Genia wouldn’t have put up with hodge not doing his job.
    Hodge does not have the passing ability of a 10, should be playing 13.

    • Greg

      I haven’t seen the game. Why was he cleaning out? Lazy forwards or just over-excited?

      • jay-c

        Definitely over-excited, though forwards could have done better.
        Definitely a starting test player, but absolutely cannot be our back up vs Ireland or anyone for that matter anytime soon.
        Would be happy to see it tried again with Genia at 9 because he simply didnt play 10 to be able to judge on that performance.

      • Missing Link

        I think Hodge is still playing 10 like he’s a 12/13. His priority should be positioning himself at 10 rather than securing ball. Often Meakes stepped in as well as Maddocks and DHP. At times, the Rebels relied on 2nd and 3rd playmakers off short Hodge passes to make things happen. In saying that he didn’t have a bad game. Also, Ruru box kicks far too much.

    • Hoss

      I am with you mate. Hodge at 10 was very, very poor and no feel or reading of the game – god help is if he is back up 10 for Wallabies. The score flattered the Rebels. Mafi’s name should be Mefi, he just plays the game for himself, great engine, but no rugby brains – none at all, his run to the blind wing on the back off a scrum with a sin-bin play just screamed of a dumb footballer who ignored every direction from his 10/12.

      Maddocks continued to impress, Koribete was good, but against not much more than a strong club side I will contain my enthusiasm.

  • Rebels Ruck

    Good for the Rebels to put 2 wins together, but next week vs the Blues in Auckland will be a real test. Their finishing was good but they left more points on the park, with a couple of knock-ons when in try scoring positions. Some of the passing quality was a bit suspect, including from Reece Hodge, who I’m not sure is a long-term prospect at 10. I’m not sure if Debreczeni was dropped, injured or rested? Scrum and line out looked better tonight as well. I hope Genia, Faulkner and Ainsley are back next week.

  • Adrian

    Did a bit better than I expected,…good for them, and good for Wallabies

  • Keith Butler

    Lost count of the number of box kicks by Ruru from all parts of the field. OK inside your 22 and to relieve pressure but there have got to be other options when you’re in the oppositions half and an attack beckons. Someone should also do something about Mafi’s peripheral awareness. Good run but seemed to be unaware or ignored his supporting players.

    • Adrian

      They tactics are team tactics I think. In some games Genia was doing this too.

      Maffi probably should pass more, but in mid-part of the season so far, the general handling was poor, and he may have got into the habit of not risking a pass

  • Adrian

    I think the key thing is that Coleman, Timani, Hodge, Naivalu, Maddocks, Korebette, DHP all had game time and did ok.

    Anyone have any feedbackback on Uelese?
    I haven’t seen the game yet.

    • Hoss

      His first throw was horrid, but was busy in the 15-20 he had, looks fit, real fit and was aggressive. The other 2 – Rangi ?? He’s a honest plodder, but its back to the pine for him. The real scary game was DHP – he was simply dreadful and I do mean dreadful.

      • Mart

        I agee re DHP.
        With Banks and Maddocks around his stocks have dropped big time
        Wouldn’t mind a Wallabies back three of Banks 15 Izzy14 and Korebette 11

  • Fatflanker

    Must suck a fair bit for the Sunwolves having Amanaki Mafi running at them. Looks like its the weekend for playing depleted teams – hope our other squads can take full advantage.

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