Matt To’omua kicked five penalties and two conversions as the Rebels picked up a 29-10 victory over the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Having picked up a 24-10 win in their most recent clash with the Waratahs earlier in the year, the Rebels went back-to-back against their opponents for the first time in their history.
It was the Rebels’ very first win of Super Rugby AU, with the Melbourne side having lost and drawn their two opening fixtures, drawing them level with the fourth-placed Waratahs with six points each.
Aside from short periods in each, the Waratahs were never really in the contest. The home side certainly did not help themselves with their ill-discipline – especially with the offsides line – punished by the boot of Matt To’omua, who slotted four penalties in the first 40 minutes.
While the Waratahs snuck into an early lead through an intercept try from wing Alex Newsome, the first half was largely dominated by the Rebels.
The penalty count eventually saw referee Angus Gardner send Michael Hooper to the sin bin. Shortly afterwards, the Rebels struck as scrumhalf Ryan Louwrens was forced over the tryline from a scrum. To’omua converted to see the visitors take a 19-10 lead into the break.
The Rebels piled on the pressure in the second half, using their pack to great effect. However, the Waratahs remained determined in their defending, stopping a couple of dangerous mauls while also holding To’omua up over the line.
A 70th-minute penalty from To’omua stretched the Rebels to 12 points before Marika Koroibete shrugged off a few poor tackles to go in under near posts, essentially sealing the match for the visitors.
Waratahs – Try: Alex Newsome. Conversion: Will Harrison. Penalty: Harrison.
Rebels – Tries: Ryan Louwrens, Marika Koroibete. Conversions: Matt To’omua (2). Penalties: Matt To’omua (5).
Waratahs – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 16 Joe Cotton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 23 Ben Dondaldson.
Rebels – 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr.
Subs: 16 Efitusi Maafu, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Michael Stolberg, 20 Esei Haangana, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Andrew Deegan.
Photo: Getty Images