The Rebels beat the Waratahs 24-10 on Friday to claim the first win of their 2020 campaign. JON CARDINELLI reports.
Both teams came into this derby desperate for any sort of victory. The Rebels lost their first two fixtures against the Sunwolves and Brumbies, while the Waratahs were downed by the Crusaders and then the Blues.
The wet conditions in Melbourne on Friday were not conducive to expansive rugby. The Rebels looked to play the contest deep in Waratahs territory, and their pragmatic approach eventually yielded a try from close quarters for Wallabies wing Marika Koroibete.
The Rebels went to the break with an 8-3 lead. The Waratahs hit back in the early stages of the second stanza, however, via a converted try.
It wasn’t long, though, before Matt Toomua kicked another penalty to regain the advantage for his side. The Rebels finished with a flourish in the dying stages – with Andrew Kellaway scoring a brace – to claim their first win of the season and ensure that the Waratahs did not receive a losing bonus point.
The Rebels will host the Sharks in round four while the Waratahs will have a bye.
Rebels – Tries: Marika Koroibete, Andrew Kellaway (2). Penalties: Matt Toomua (3).
Waratahs – Try: Harry Johnson-Holmes. Conversion: Will Harrison. Penalty: Harrison.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Reece Hodge, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Subs: 16 Steven Misa, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Cabous Eloff, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Robert Leota, 21 Angus Cottrell, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Andrew Kellaway.
Waratahs – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cameron Clark, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Jack Maddocks, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell.
Subs: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Ryan Mccauley, 20 Lachlan Swinton, 21 Mitch Short , 22 Lalkai Foketi, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase.
*Have you signed up to our newsletter? Click here to join the thousands of readers who are part of our newsletter community.
Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images