Rebels soar to victory against Blues

Wallabies flyhalf James O’Connor scored a try and kicked five penalties and two conversions for 24 points to lead the Melbourne Rebels to a 34-23 win over the Auckland Blues on Thursday to open the seventh round of Super 15 rugby.

Both teams went into the match looking for their second win of the season in six matches but the Rebels came out on top despite Auckland having the earliest attacking opportunities.

Flanker Chris Lowrey scored a try with three minutes left to leave Auckland trailing 27-23, before a last-minute try by captain Gareth Delve clinched the match for the Rebels.

The win moved Melbourne from last place to second in the tight Australian conference while the Blues, favoured to be among the leaders at the beginning of the season, remained in last place in the New Zealand conference, six points behind fourth-place Wellington.

Fullback Kurtley Beale scored a first-half try against the run of play when it appeared the Blues would score after stringing together 15 phases.

But Melbourne’s defence held firm and when Blues No. 8 Brad Mika tried to push a pass with teammates lined up outside him, Beale pounced on the ball and ran 80 metres to the opposite try line.

Successful penalty kicks from O’Connor and Blues scrumhalf Gareth Anscombe left the score 11-9 for the Rebels at half-time.

Pushing for advantage
Auckland took the lead two minutes into the second half when winger Rene Ranger tiptoed down the side-line and got a ball away to fullback Rudi Wolf to score, with Anscombe’s conversion pushing the advantage to 16-11.

Two penalties by O’Connor gave his side a one-point lead and then man-of-the-match O’Connor got a try of his own, running on to a ball from hooker Ged Robinson.

Prop Laurie Weeks suffered a shoulder injury for the Rebels while hooker Adam Freier was forced off after just 10 minutes with a calf problem.

Blues coach Pat Lam lamented his team’s poor ball control which undid the good work in the set piece.

“We just couldn’t maintain pressure,” Lam said. “Credit to the Rebels because they kept coming at us, particularly in that last 20 minutes.”

Melbourne coach Damien Hill said his team didn’t panic despite losing the lead early in the second half.

“We came off at half-time leading, but we were frustrated with the way we were playing,” Hill said. “Then to concede a try early in the second half, things could have gone south very quickly. It’s a credit to Delvey [Gareth Delve] and the team and to our defence.” — Sapa-AP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide

The death of Enoch Mpianzi at Parktown Boys is a...

Ignore the language used in brochures and on open days and be vigilant about the details

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

The president said his court case is “unfortunate” and a “measure of last resort”
Advertising

Press Releases

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.