Australian Rugby News, 2021 Super Rugby AU Week 10 Report: NSW Waratahs v Melbourne Rebels

It was an instant start from Melbourne Rebels with the first touchdown. Especially when Frank Lomani made a great line break past the Waratahs gate. Having kicked the ball further. Before Rebels held off Jack Maddocks alone. And gave some time to execute that big score. Thanks to Matt Toomua who put in a great cross kick for Stacey Ili to finish. Waratahs 0-7 Rebels after 2 minutes.

Waratahs however made their first points on the board. After the Rebels were penalised with the offside twice. That is where Ben Donaldson was able to clear it straight between the sticks. As the home side just four points behind the Rebels at 3-7. Followed by a one point ball game at 6-7 going into the 10th minute. With the Rebels continued to make disciplinary mistakes via the offside.

But it does not mean the Rebels took their chances wisely through the ball on hand. Having extended the scoreboard lead to six points (6-12). They kept the scrum square before finding some space for thethe clear offload. Michael Wells was the second touchdown recipient who plays on the blindside for Melbourne. Waratahs on the other hand struggled without the ball on hand when it comes to the defense. They saw lost valuable points when Toomua cleared the penalty goal. Rebels extend their lead to nine points after 17 mins at 6-15. Despite this Isi Naisarani was slapped with the red card following the high tackle on Jeremy Williams. Then a punch or two against Lachie Swinton.

Rebels may lost a man for the next two minutes leaving a 14 player field. But it did not really detract their progress too much. Especially with more chances with the ball on hand. While the Waratahs have not turned around. The away side pushed another three points via the penalty goal. It is a 12 point difference (6-18) after 25 mins going to Rebels. Before Waratahs bounced back despite not having the perfect passage of passes. But used the short side to get the job done. Thanks to Lalakai Foketi who made a great offload to Mark Nawaqanitawase for the touchdown. Score is 11-18 to the Rebels after 31 mins. Followed by an instant three-point penalty goal to 11-21 from the away side.

Waratahs however are not out of contention. They were patient with the ball on hand with the number of phases built. And still able to get around the Rebels via the wide areas. Where the talk up was there to keep the passes going through the channels. Foketi once again got involved more on the far left alongside Nawaqanitawase. Having found Jack Maddocks with the execution towards the touch line. But Melbourne Rebels still have the upper hand at the break by just three points, 18-21.

Immediately after the break Melbourne Rebels able to return to their initial run. Having held on going forward via the winning penalties. Such as the maul stayed square before Rob Leota touched down. As the away side extend their lead to 10 points at 18-28 after 43 minutes. Waratahs meanwhile have lost at times. But never gave up when the home side won a couple of penalties against the Rebels. And saw Dave Poecki make up the touch score. In which it is now a three-point ball game to the Rebels after 50 minutes at 25-28. Before Melbourne saw the back of the Waratahs weaknesses in the defense. Where they took advantage of the three-point kick into the goal. The game is not over yet. But still a six-pointer (25-31) between the two sides after 53 minutes.

Rebels followed up with another touchdown that further extended their lead. The patience is there going forward. Having seen the Waratahs struggle to find some decoy runners. As they were exposed defensively via the lost penalties. Before the maul was good enough for Matt Gibbon to complete that execution. It is 15 minutes to go with a nine point buffer going to the Rebels. The away side may have seen two players sent to the bench. From the sin bin for James Hanson to a straight red in Pone Faamasulli. But Rebels still managed to hold off for the win by nine points at 25-36. While the Waratahs finish their 2021 Super Rugby AU campaign without any wins at all.

Author: Sports Benches

Matthew Nicholas, the founder/blogger/vlogger on Sports Benches, is an aspiring cricket player & passionate sports fanatic who lives in Sydney, Australia.

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