Stacey Ili is outstanding who put a real shift in the Rebels midfield. He gives the credit to his forward pack. With the way they saw how the Waratahs attacked in return. And it was very isolated from the away side to have it executed alone.
He can make up hits and tackles when making up his defensive mindset. In order to protect and balance the workload with his forwards. That is how Stacey gave them a chance to build some set phases.
Where the Rebels managed to find themselves through the gate. Asked him to run alongside them through the channels. He catched the ball firm. With great set piece & passage of play. So he can find his man for the finish via the quick offload. In which was a job well done that inspired the Rebels tonight.
Another Rebels player who shone at home is Richard Hardwick. He plays at openside flanker in the No.7 shirt. Got a great read in the defense. Able to look at the Waratahs attacking setup. Where they were impatient & one-dimensional.
Without the Waratahs bringing their support men further forward. Richard was able to ground them before turning the ball over. As the referee able to reward his way. Such a great defender to watch with the packed muscle. That gave every opportunity for his side to round it off.
Where he can play a great part of giving his backline a helping hand. As they do in reverse defensively. And it makes communication a brilliant flow between each other. This is how Richard contributed to the Rebels early momentum. With the winning penalties/turnovers involved. Which converts to more ball carries on hand. And even more points gained on the board. So the Waratahs unable to catch up in the end.
He may have came off the bench for Dave Porecki in the 51st minute. But Tom made an impact immediately. His throw-ins was good. As well as a great eye to spot the Rebels weaknesses. Where they tend to dip down at times. And safe to say that Tom saw every bit of it. Having helped ground them down & turn the ball around.
Tom packs great physicality with plenty of mobility to move around. As said a bit earlier about his throw-ins. No doubt it has helped him launch the Waratahs attack. Where he can also get involved in advance. Such as two late assisted touchdowns towards the end of the game.
And it shows that Tom demonstrated flexibility both in attack & defense. He did well to add some winning penalties delivered for the Waratahs. Plus the late points needed to show some fightback in return. Even though their day was already done just before Tom walked in. This team now needs to rope him at No.2 next Saturday v Reds. If they are to win any games between Week 6 to Week 10.