It’s been a really close game between the Melbourne Rebels & NSW Waratahs following a brilliant three-day Super Round festival last weekend also here at AAMI Park. Tahs may have got away with an early head start but the Rebels got away with back-to-back tries where they bagged a healthy lead ahead of half-time, 17-6. Speaking of starts & re-starts, the Tahs were actually not bad who began to close in with two quick tries of their own that saw them overtook the Rebels for a whole. However, the Rebels had the last laugh with the fightback by scoring a couple more big scores before it was enough to secure them the win in front of their home fans. The final score is 34-27.
Oh so close from the Tahs who did so well to make up lost time in the 2nd half before they ended up just a converted TRY (seven points) short. They actually got a bit of a headstart with the three-point penalty goal where their first-half run was marred by a cancelled TRY through Nemani Nadolo followed by the Rebels’ back-to-back tries apart from another penalty goal. They did show some fightback after the HT break with the influence of Taleni Seu from the bench, as the Tahs got on hold of the Rebels for a while after they’ve scored two quick tries.
Now there may be a late TRY not long before full-time; Sadly, they just couldn’t stop the Rebels defensively as the game could’ve have gone into extra time & then finish up their own way or even before full-time if the early Nadolo TRY wasn’t cancelled. It’s going to be make or break now if they can get past not only both NZ teams (Hurricanes next Friday in Wellington & Chiefs on Friday week at home in Sydney), but also the Brumbies again that will determine their spot in the Super Rugby ladder over the few weeks.
Meanwhile, Brumbies are still undefeated alongside the Chiefs from Waikato after the end of Round 3 with another win so far this season. Their first half was brilliant where they dominated possession for the majority at the Reds own area. It allowed them to build some attacking momentum with patience while reading the opposition’s body language, which led to a few winning penalties goals & tries along the way. Now they may have conceded some tries as the match goes on later in the 2nd 40. But with a healthy lead, the Brumbies answered the Reds’ improved 2nd half attack well by extending their lead a bit further (another TRY & penalty goal) before they were glad to escape by full-time with a six-point win. This is good as it gets from the best Australian Super Rugby side right now with wins against the Waratahs, Blues (Auckland) & now Reds.
Well, these next opponents for both teams will be slightly less tough next weekend for Round 4 of 15. The Brumbies are hosting once again next Saturday night v Moana Pasifika while Reds head back home where they will take on Fijian Drua next Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.