Waratahs record comeback win over Rebels - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Waratahs record comeback win over Rebels

Waratahs record comeback win over Rebels

The Waratahs have shown that there is life without Israel Folau, recording a 23-20 win over the conference-leading Rebels in dewy conditions at the SCG. The Rebels would dominate the majority of the first half, scoring two tries to lead 20-7 at the break. However, an inspired second half from Bernard Foley and the centurion, Michael Hooper engineered the comeback victory that puts the NSW side inside the top 8 and within four points from the top of the conference.

The Match

The first half would be dominated by both sides trading kicks as the dewy surface wreaked havoc on ball handling.

The Waratahs would earn the first real chance at points after they caught multiple Rebel players offside just inside their half. However, the chance was instantly wasted after Bernard Foley failed to find touch for the 2nd straight time in the first 10 minutes.

The Rebels would make no mistake when given the opportunity for points after a Sekope Kepu high tackle, with Quade Cooper converting the penalty from 35m out to put them ahead 3-0.

The Waratahs would respond after a strong run from Johnson-Holmes from a Rob Simmons offload put them in prime field position. Adam Ashley-Cooper would find the line on the next phase after a lovely cut out ball from Karmichael Hunt found Jed Holloway, who drew the fullback to put Ashley-Cooper over the line to push the score out to 7-3 NSW.

The Rebels would strike back almost immediately, with Billy Meakes crossing untouched after some sloppy play from both sides, particular Alex Newsome, gifted Meakes with the easiest of tries to restore the Rebels margin, 10-7.

They extended their margin, after Reece Hodge sliced through a huge gap in the Waratahs defence, strolling under the black dot despite claims from the Waratahs of infringement by Koroibete on Newsome during a contest for the ball in the lead-up play.

This advantage was increased right on half time after an incorrect joining of the ruck by Michael Wells gave Reece Hodge the opportunity to boot over the resulting penalty from near halfway to leave the score 20-7 Rebels at half time.

Jake Gordon plucks one from the air.

Jake Gordon plucks one from the air.

The second half would start with the Waratahs attacking the Rebels goal-line for the best part of the first 15 minutes. They would be rewarded for the prolonged pressure with a pair of penalty goals to Foley bringing the score back to 20-13.

The Waratahs would level the score after Foley showed greater commitment to the loose ball than Quade Cooper, pouncing on the overthrow from Rangi at the lineout to race 50m to continue the comeback.

They would take the lead in the 62nd minute, when Foley continued his perfect night with the boot, converting a penalty shot to put the Waratahs in front 23-20.

The Rebels would have a chance to level the scores at the 70th minute, however, the penalty attempt from Hodge would hit the upright and bounce back into play.

Their fortunes would go from bad to worse, with Sam Talakai yellow carded after multiple infringements from the Melbourne side throughout the second half.

The Waratahs looked certain to control the game from here, however for some strange reason they decided to kick the ball away with 2 minutes to go, giving the Rebels one last chance to score points.

Fortunately for the Waratahs, their defence held strong after 15 phases of Rebels attack, causing the turnover in the end and securing the victory 23-20.

The Turning Point

The half time break seemed to slow down any momentum that the Rebels had in the first half, with the Waratahs controlling the territory and possession after the break, allowing them to manufacture the comeback victory.

The GAGR MOTM

Despite his slow start, Bernard Foley was instrumental to the Waratahs comeback. He was perfect off the tee, accounting for 18 out of the Waratahs’ 23 points and his general kicking along with the commitment and lack of self-preservation shown during his long-range try was ultimately the difference between the two sides.

Wallaby Watch

The combination of Beale and Hunt at 12 and 15, along with Ashley-Cooper worked wonders for the Waratahs in attack, who were given a strong platform by the likes of Simmons, Johnson-Holmes and Hooper.

From the Rebels, the standout performers were Jones (as always), Genia, Naisarani and Hodge, who certainly put his hand up for the open fullback/utility back position with the impending loss of Folau.

Result

Waratahs 23

Tries: Ashley-Cooper (18’), Foley (57’)
Cons: Foley 2/2 (19’, 58’)
Pens: Foley 3/3 (48’, 53’, 62’)

Rebels 20

Tries: Meakes (23’), Hodge (37’)
Cons: Cooper 2/2 (24’, 38’)
Pens: Cooper 1/2 (13’), Hodge 1/2 (40’)

  • Hoss

    SPOILER ALERT !!!!!

    Natural order was maintained – was it ever in doubt !

    Oh ye of little faith.

    Hooper was mammoth. Staniforth outplayed more fancied opposition and so did Simmons.

    Shame Quade was injured at half time and didn’t play the second – would have been interesting match-up against Spanners…..

    To be fair though – the result was a nice sauce, but the main dish was a dogs breakfast – man it was ugly to watch.

    • Huw Tindall

      Rebels had better call the NRMA to come out and fix the band wagon as the wheels are coming off. Two average games in a row and there is no way the Tahs forwards could compare to the muscle the Stormers brought last week but they still managed to beat the Rebels with an organised defence and superior game plan for the conditions. Still yet to see categorical proof Wessels is the next Steve Hanson. Sure he’s done well with an unfancied Force and new Rebels squad but his teams aren’t perfect by any means. Lots of promise for sure but I think we don’t give enough credit to Gibson and Cron and then this year Tandy and Whitaker. NSW are a well coached side who seem to have a great culture. If they can get up after the Folau shit of the last two weeks it’s a strong sign. Onwards and upwards to rightful Aus conference champions!!

      On the players Phillip and Hodge continue to impress. Phillip and Rodda for lock. Hodge wing or 15 or utility bench player.

      Naisarani isn’t a shoe in for 8 although he does add a lot in the in close carries. On form I’d pick McCaffrey.

      Very quiet night from English and Meakes although it wasn’t really a game for running rugby. The Tahs centres outplayed them though with AAC running good lines and Hunt setting up the AAC try.

      With Hooper’s recent form I’m almost neutral over whether he or Poey starts at 7. Both add so much.

      Gilbert actually played well at 15 but he’ll need to repeat that the rest of the season to be in my Wallabies 23.

      HJH best new prop this year IMO too. One for the future.

      Hope Genia is OK. Bigger loss than Folau for sure.

      Re the dew – Drew Mitchell made a comment than in NZ they spray the surface with some substance before the match to ward off the effects of damp grass. All this time I just thought they were superior ball handlers.

      • Cameron Rivett

        I heard Drew’s comment also and it got me wondering about this sort of thing. I once read that Barrett has a 30% better conversion percentage rate with the Gilbert than the Adidas ball. In a game of inches, small things like this can seriously affect outcomes – and having players actually being able to hold onto the ball would make the games more watchable too.

      • disqus_NMX

        Yeah calm down mate, the Rebels are still top of the conference!

        • Huw Tindall

          I refuse to calm down. They have beaten two of the top conference teams so far this year ergo Tahs are champs. Love the blue tint glasses. They make everything look like it’s 2014.

        • disqus_NMX

          If and when you make top of the conference you can start crowing. Until then, you’re only second, and you’ve got the Brumbies and Reds breathing down your neck, one stumble and you’re second last.

    • Cameron Rivett

      This was one of the ugliest games of rugby I’ve seen this season. Hooper stepping up in the second half and Genia going off really changed the balance of leadership. Both of these teams looked worse this weekend than the Reds and the Brumbies (tentative – it’s half-time currently).

    • Adrian

      Not bad for the worst pack, the worst backs, the worst 5/8, the worst captain Hoss.

      I can just feel the pain of that 90% in here who believe their own spluttering. I’m not counting the few regulars inihere who explain their opinion by the way.

      The rest can suck eggs

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hey Adrian, so the Tahs pulled one out and/or the Rebels imploded. How much of theresult was the “least worse” team as opposed to the “best”?

        I haven’t seen the game yet but the comments don’t bode well for a good game.

        • Adrian

          Well KRL, a good game IMO because it was close, with smothering or attempted smothering defence.

          I think some (but not all) comments here are written from a pe-held negative perspective of NSW, and therefore anyone they beat would have to be having a really bad day. Same as was said after Crusader game.

          I thought both teams were up and down, as were key players Cooper and Foley. Foley two or three bad line kicks in first half and mostly good second half. Cooper did good things but rattled at times. Points win to Foley, not a knockout.

          I thought Genia (who played pretty well) looked rattled at times and that this may have rubbed off.

          Waratahs with about 8 old hands (v about 2 Reb old hands) controlled the game well.

          IMO more pressure in this game than other two Aust team games, though they were very intense games.

          I think the slower NSW three-quarters out manoeuvred the Rebs, and NSW forwards more mobile.

          As the score indicated, not a lot in it. Hodge good, Jones good, Naisarini good, …. Coleman not noticed by me.

          For Tahs the whole front row looked a step ahead. Hooper, Beale good as was Holloway before he went off. Simmons did his job.

          Kicking in general play was mostly good.

          I actually reckon that all 3 weekend games showed how much all teams have improved from 2018, and certainly 2017.

          Ok by me

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I just watched the game but TBH I thought the rugby was pretty poor and switched off. I thought most of the kicking was just pretty poor and it was almost like the teams were hesitant to try anything else. To me the kicks either didn’t have chasers or were too far, somewhere good but it seemed over done and almost like they were copying the 6N and didn’t know what else to do. Rebels in particular seemed to have almost no plan.

          I actually switched it off before the end as I found it a pretty boring game. I don’t think anyone stood out much, Foley and QC both made as many mistakes as each other and cancelled each other out. Genia never took control, forwards seemed to try to offload but don’t seem to have the skills, I agree Coleman was missing, Hooper was quite good today and Beale proved he’s better in broken play than he’ll ever be at 12. I thought the Rebels let him off too much but not his fault. HJH was good again, Hunt was average but then so were the Rebels backs.

          I didn’t see this as a game where the pressure caused mistakes, more as a game where a lot of players were quite poor. Maybe the issue is more that both teams had mental blocks during the game

        • idiot savant

          I think they were both spooked by the pressure of playing for top dog in he Aussie conference AND spooked by the conditions. From the get go, both sides decided the dew meant they were better off if the opposition had the ball at their defensive end so it was aerial ping pong for quite a while. However the Tahs looked more dangerous when they kept the ball in hand which I think is a measure of both the confidence of many seasons of playing ball in hand offloading rugby and experience and class. Simmons was a marker for me. He just quietly went about his business, made his tackles, ran the line out well, carried with good height and technique. It was that calmness in tricky conditions that gave the Tahs the edge. The Rebs on he other hand had to push that bit harder and the mistakes came.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think you’re right but it doesn’t say much for the team leadership that they couldn’t change in the game

        • idiot savant

          Agree with all of this Adrian. Beale great under the high ball but still mentally flaky in decision making. A couple of dumb kicks when keeping ball in hand would have really pressured the Rebels.

          Also agree about the pressure. Both sides were really nervous in the first half. The Tahs looked the better side when things calmed down.

    • Keith Butler

      Rebels implode again – I despair. Aided and abetted by a ref with a slight blue tint in his specs. Still a bet is a bet, what’s your poison Hoss?

      • Who?

        Wasn’t a slight blue tint – 9-1 penalty count in the second half, KB…… Some truly abysmal calls in there (Hodge not rolling, Foley playing the ball on the ground, etc)…

        • Keith Butler

          I had my sarcasm glasses on when I wrote it to see if Hoss would rise to the bait. He did and also confirmed that the ref was pretty dire.

    • David Creagh

      So what you are saying, in effect, that was Pal with a nice red wine jus with mushrooms.

    • Who?

      That was horrific to watch, though, Hoss… Can’t think of a game that was worse to watch in quite a while. Well, the second half. I missed the first half (came in at 37 minutes).
      .
      It felt like natural order was maintained as much because Mr Murphy’s completely clueless. 9-1 penalty count in the second half… First two for offside were spot on (wonder if the odd shape of the field hurt the Rebels’ perception of space? The Tahs lineout was crooked, too – not saying that either side had advantage, just wondering if looking at curved fences as opposed to a square fence made it harder to work out ‘square’ to the field?), but after that, he only reffed one team.
      Hodge rolled further in the third penalty than the Tahs did in the few rucks they were forced to defend all second half (seriously, Hodge rolled more than 2m and was pinged for not rolling – even the former Qlder Horan admitted it was a dud call), Foley plays the ball on the ground after Hooper’s offside at the lineout, no call on either, yet Talakai is almost immediately given a YC (no penalty for the Tah infractions). Leota cops a knock on call when the correct call was a penalty against the Tah on the ground who didn’t release the ball until after Leota’s hands were clear (meanwhile, Hooper was 3m past the ruck pulling Cooper away from moving towards it)…
      .
      What a rubbish game to watch. Murphy was so intent on hearing his own whistle that neither team found any rhythm in the second half. I don’t see how anyone could say that any player had a good or poor game – it was so incredibly disjointed…
      .
      Has Murphy reffed a good game yet? Because it also felt like he gave the Reds the win in Tokyo against the Sun Wolves…

      • Hoss

        Morning Dr.

        I thought the ref was poo all round. Coupled with poor skills it was a dreadful experience and then to play it at a 60k capacity, oval shaped ground with 10k sprinkled around with zero atmosphere was the icing on the cake.

        I would add that there was no way that any other ref would have let the Hodge try stand – Koroibete takes a player out in the air well before the poll arrives.

        Commented on an email to a friend – on the wider context to Australian ruby in a RWC year of that game and we are in deep doo-doo.

        • Who?

          Hope you had a good weekend Hoss. :-)
          I didn’t see the Hodge try – came in as Cooper kicked the conversion. But figured he must’ve had a busy night with the Tahs in the first half, given it looks to have been 7-3 against them in the first half.
          But given the commentary on the game, I’m guessing it might’ve maybe been a little more open? The second half, though…
          .
          I really don’t see how anyone can be lauded or lashed when it was all determined by the bloke in the middle. The Tahs won, but they didn’t get a chance to shine. Not in the second half – the whistle just kept going. Cooper did nothing in the second half, but it felt like the Rebels had about 10% possession and no territory – I don’t think they got inside the Tahs’ 10m line except for the moment when Foley played the ball on the ground.
          .
          I didn’t realize the SCG was up to 60k capacity these days – that’s impressive. I thought it was still closer to 44k for Tests?
          Hopefully they can get a few games out at Bankwest – would be the sensible approach (though I doubt they’ll do it).
          .
          The only hope for that game is that the biggest problem was the interference of a very inexperienced ref… Maybe with a little more flow, one or both of the teams might’ve shown something (both have decent coaching squads, plenty of reasonable players, etc). Maybe..?

  • Gallagher

    Pah, Foley gets bagged for disappearing in the entire first half then all’s forgotten when he kicks a stupid low percentage left footer touch finder and grabs a 50/50 messed up lineout ball? He should have been yellow carded when he played the ball in the ruck while on the ground at 70mins, giving rebels a penalty to draw level, instead of them being a man down for the last ten themsleves.
    Foley showed the same desperate and sometimes lucky inconsistency he has all year. A 10 should be getting lauded for try assists, points, kicking percentage, metres gained, linebreaks, calling plays etc, that display was NOT one for the ages, neither was Coopers, but on balance this year, Cooper got nothing to worry about, neither does Christian or Matt for that matter…

    • Cameron Rivett

      Agree with you, Foley botched not one but TWO penalty kicks for touch (the first didn’t go out and the second went dead). He managed to pounce on a loose ball for a try – but that didn’t make Meakes MOTM so I don’t see why it would count for Foley either.

      • Yeah, both 10’s not even close to good enough (IMHO) to win a world cup, but I will give the nod to Foley in this game for doing the hard work as well as the flashy stuff. He put in more effort than Cooper when it counted.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Agree also!
      Foley looked “desperate” all night. His very low display of skills was on display once again and even worse than that he showed very little in organizing the attack behind the far better forward pack on the night! As for Quade he once again created opportunities with cross kicks and we’ll weighted contestable chips. His defence was good while Foley’s had at least 3missed tackles and a “yellow card” brain snap. Genia should take most of the blame tonight, as the Rebels 2weeks in a row refused to adjust their game plan and spread it wide. So weird after the 1st half of the season had the Rebels backline humming along rather well! It’s hard to see what the coach is doing here….

      • IIPA

        I’ve read some non-objective post game analysis in my time. You sir win the cake with this one.

        “Yellow card brain snap”
        The tahs had “the far better forward pack”

        Mate, Foley had a horror first ten minutes then dissapeared for the rest of the first half. Second half he was decent but yeah that one on one victory over Quade probably makes him look better than he was.

        Cooper was ok in the first half but dissapeared after half time only to occasionally emerge to host weird left foot midfield bombs to concede advantage or kick out on the full.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Non objective hey. OK I’ll be objective for you! Here’s a rundown on Foley’s impact moments in the game that reflect heavily on his skills and ability!
          He actually did nothing of note in the 1st half but missed the sideline on penalties twice, kicked deep returns directly to the fullback, had a massive overlap outside him after turnover ball of 3players with zero defenders and he throws the ball into the ground despite being under no pressure, gets a kick charged down and flicks a weird pass between his legs that nearly gets intercepted.
          And then the 2nd half also is very lean with only his try and a odd left foot spectacle kick as possatives. Also included another weird pass through the legs that put his winger under scrambling pressure, and a poor misstimed chip kick to no-one while hot on attack. Now if your impressed by Foley effort you must have been even more impressed by Quade who put multiple deep kicks in open space,kicked contestable restarts that were won, made some try saving tackles and stopped a well weighted Hunt grubber in goal. Now Quade was also charged down, knocked it on and kicked out on the full aswell. .. .but it doesn’t take much brain power to balance the odds here!

    • Howard

      Very balanced and unbiased view on things. Foley did not have his best game but scored all the points in the second half in a come from behind win. Cooper has had poor games for the last 2 weeks. Who was your MOM?

    • Kristian Thomas

      Agree. Foley had an awful game. Thought Cooper had a solid game. People are claiming that he disappeared in the second half but you can’t do much when your team gives away that many penalties in a row. Ref wasn’t particularly interested in the offside rule all night….

  • Pedro

    Turning point for me was Genia going off injured. He was really bossing the game and while Ruru didn’t really do anything terrible, he wasn’t the force that Genia was.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Well if that is the two best teams in Australian rugby we are well and truly fucked! If those teams are the constituent make up of the Wallabies, we are exiting at the pool stage. Fiji will trounce us. And so they should with dogshit skills on display like that last night. Fuck me that was appalling. I watched the game with usual gang of rugby boys and girls last night. Mostly Reds supporters with a Fijian, an Italian, a Scott and a Saffa thrown in for good measure. They reckon Australian should reach its head between its legs and kiss its ass good bye now. I struggled to disagree with them. BL’s mad ramblings for the game:
    – That was the worst display of skills I have seen in years. Really was appalling.
    – A shit kickfest! The only benefit I saw from that was that we know Hodge probably has to be the wallas 15, because when you can roost it 65 metres that is really helpful. Especially knowing how poor Wallabies exits are from inside our own 22. Handy with long range penalty shots. But alas a boring kickfest. Giving away hard earnt possession. Farking crap!
    – Sorry Nathan but Foley can not be man of the match. Your slate doesn’t get wiped clean at half time. By my points scoring system he was well into the negatives in the first half. Even if his second half was a perfect 10 he still would have been at best a 6. Plus as mentioned by Gallagher, should have been yellow carded!
    – Speaking of yellow cards, forwards always get spotted. But that was a fair call. Pity the rest of his second half the referump was a little on the home sides favour there. Level the score a bit, make it a bit of a competition. Ably assisted by the wheels falling of the Rebs game.
    – Hooper has a great engine and played well and hard. There I found a positive. Oh Genia was above average til he got injured lets hope it is nothing serious.
    – Beale was pretty crap as usual, but his kicking was better than Foley’s (which isnt fucking hard!).
    – The scrums on both teams were above average.
    Look overall disappointed in the Rebels as they should have closed that out easily. Losing Genia hurt them. Whilst QC wasn’t as good in attack, he actually defended very well. But both of these guys need to step up, him and Spanners. They both had very large periods of absences. I feel sorry for all of the punters who paid money to go and see that . Gibson and Wessells both need to go and have a serious look at their game plans.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      This year’s games are doing my head in. The only game I picked right this weekend was the Canes and they were bloody lucky. Haven’t watched this yet as I was doing husband things last night and not sure after the comments here if I want to. Watched the Brumbies when I got up and great defence, in saying that where the hell was the Stormers team from last week.

      I think from now on what I pick is almost certain to go the other way

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate I have not entered in the tips competition this year. And I am particularly glad I havnt. you are right, this year is harder to pick then a broken nose!
        That Canes sunwolves game must have done your head in. Gee I want that kicker from the Sunwolves in the Wallabies, but as you are saying he will get called into the AB’s.

      • disqus_NMX

        “I was doing husband things last night” – I hope that means pounding the missus over the kitchen sink, and not doing the dishes whilst she watches Dancing with the Stars?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          A gentleman never comments

      • Greg

        @KRL if you were doing the dishes… it was probably a better investment of your time.

        It was a very disappointing game. I honesty thought the rebels deserved to win but they needed to change their game plan in the second half. Quite a few teams are playing pseudo mungo ball and just smashing it up the middle…. with seemingly no intent.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that shits me. It’s like no planning and no leadership

    • Andy

      Not a Beale lover by any stretch but that was one of his best games in years. Don’t think he dropped a single high ball all night

      • Brisneyland Local

        Andy 100% agree it was his best game for the year. But gee his attack was average, and gee he got pumelled a few times. His kicking was average. But hard not to look good when the comparison in your team is Pop Gun Foley! Was better than I expected under the high ball.

      • David Creagh

        I agree but the bar has been set low for the last three years.

    • IIPA

      I really like when you say “fuck me that was appalling”. I can picture you…..

      And it was. Like after 20minutes both 9s and 10s decided the ball is too slippery let’s just kick it away every chance we get.

      I

      • Brisneyland Local

        I typed politely. What I was saying to the TV last night was bad. Infact everyone sitting with me was cussing like me. One of the guys played for the Wallaby U21’s and had one cap for the Wallabies in the 80’s and he was going off like a fire cracker. Especially about how none of the throw in by the Waratahs were called crooked. Mind you as a former ACT player he hates the Tah’s!

  • Bert

    That was a game where the ball was soap and the rebs didn’t manage the ref. The points for the tahs came from the man in the center.
    I’m sure it’s been said before, but those melbourne lads really really need to look at cutting out the dumb penalties, and regularly pissing off the pea blowers.

  • Andy

    Very average game but physical which is a good sign at the very least. That hit on Hunt was something else….

    I think the rebels got ahead of themselves at half time. They were the better team in the first half, especially their forwards but they were lucky with both their tries. Their body language as they came back onto the pitch in the 2nd half was disappointing. I hate to say it but they just looked cocky.

    The battle for 10 was a coin flip imo. QC much better in the first half and Foley much better in the second. But both their bad halves were really bad.

    Naisarani and Phillip were the 2 best performers for the Rebels especially in the first half.

    For the tahs, Hooper was immense. His work in the ruck and at the breakdown has definitely picked up this year. Looks like a far more solid player and his engine is nothing short of incredible. Staniforth was also very impressive as was AAC.

    • Greg

      It will be interesting to see if Hooper continues to play tighter in gold or if he is sent wide again. Having options out wide (albeit with no field width left) doesn’t help you aren’t winning in the forwards.

  • Human

    Chaps, I did not see the game but cannot believe that the dew is used as an excuse for dropped ball. They no longer use a leather ball…that weighs twice as much at the end of a game as it did at the start. The balls are synthetic with little nipples on them for fark’s sake. Bugger me, I remember Mark Ella, et al playing Scotland, with a leather ball, in 2 inches of snow and not dropping a ball all day. Give the dew a rest please.

  • Mishad

    By slow start you mean Foley failing to kick 2 penalties in a row into touch? ouch. And you saw how happy he was when a kick he intended came off and went into touch well into rebels territory, like he didn’t expect it to go where he wanted to kick it to.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep that is our national 10 you are talking about. How proud we all are.

  • Zippo

    I’e got the final score as waratahs 50 box-kicks defeated the Rebels 48 box-kicks

    • Keith Butler

      Good reason for me not wa5ching it then.

  • Nutta

    As one mate commented to me last night, if that’s the cream of 10’s, centres and 15’s we have coming into a World Cup then we are proper fkd.

    • Cameron Rivett

      The Rebels were without Dane Haylett-Petty who is Australia’s first-choice 15. I don’t think any of the centres are our first-choice (Kerevi certainly must have the 12 jersey locked in at this stage) but you’re right about our 10s. Cooper is still my pick of the flyhalves, but there’s evidence to say he disappears when the forward pack is going backwards which is bound to happen at least once through the RWC.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        and now name a 10 in world rugby that doesn’t struggle to dominate when the forwards are being dominated! There isn’t any. …
        Same ole problem for Quade, if he can’t win by himself he’s useless. … if his team looses it’s his fault! The poor guy is doing what everyone wants….. Sticking to the coaches game plan…. .that part is very clear. Whether or not Wessels plan suits all game scenarios is yet to be seen….

        • Cameron Rivett

          Obviously all 10s play worse when the pack is going backwards, but some are better at coping under these conditions than others. My statement was relative, I think that while he is a great 10, there are others who lose less in those circumstances (though I’m not sure if any of them are in Australia anyway).

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yeah true, but I spose standing tall and dominating play against an aggressive forward pack isn’t really meant to be in a 10s bag of tricks… that’s why 9s box kick right…..

        • Andy

          I think the 9 in the modern game is becoming more important in tight affairs and where a pack is struggling. Fast, aggressive defensive lines are determining that.

          A dynamic 10 can only really get into the game now if his pack are killing the opposition. Hence why Barrett has been looking mediocre when things aren’t going his teams way.

        • idiot savant

          Spot on.

    • disqus_NMX

      Fucked? Or proper fucked?

  • David Creagh

    That was absolutely dire. If I saw one more box kick I was going to throw something at the tele. As it was I turned the drivel off.

    • disqus_NMX

      Agree on the box kicks. Woeful way to give up possession for a tiny gain in position.

      • David Creagh

        Australians use the box kick badly, you should either kick long for territory/touch or kick shallow with plenty of chasers looking to turn over at the breakdown. We tend to kick into no man’s land where there is a player positioned to take the kick with no real territory gain or chase.

  • idiot savant

    Rebels were lucky to get as close as 3 points. Their offside line speed and the conditions kept them in the game longer. They really should have been yellow carded much sooner. The Tahs class particularly from Hooper, Simmons, Hunt, Foley and AAC was telling. Fitzpatrick, HJH, Holloway, and Gordon also played well.

    For the Rebels Genia and Hodge showed their class and the pack had plenty of endeavour. Foley won the contest over Cooper, Hodge won the contest over Beale. If the conditions had been dry my prediction of a 10+ points victory by the Tahs might have come to pass.

  • RugbyM

    Good to see the neck roll by Rebels loose head Matt Gibbon on Hoops in the ruck immediately prior to Holloways charge-down go unpunished… I though we were trying to get rid of these

Melbourne Rebels
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

More in Melbourne Rebels