Rebels go down in high scoring affair in Hamilton

Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 8:19 PM
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

The Melbourne Rebels have played out an entertaining 10 try affair against the ladder leading Chiefs in Hamilton.

The Rebels entered the clash riding a wave of confidence following last week’s win over the Waratahs, and it showed early. 

The tourists registered the first points of the day through a booming Reece Hodge penalty in the fifth minute, before a long cutout pass from Carter Gordon, saw Brad Wilkin find Alex Mafi in space, with the hooker running over his side’s first try of the match and his first in Rebels’ colours.

The Rebels would be dealt a cruel blow ten minutes later, when Reece Hodge suffered a suspected broken finger, substituted for Lukas Ripley at inside centre. 

Leading 8-0 after the first 10 minutes, the Rebels conceded the next 27 points over the next twenty minutes, before Lachie Anderson sliced through a gap to set up Stacey Ili, who crossed over for an eye-catching try following great patience and a series of incisive passes. 

A successful Carter Gordon conversion saw the Rebels head to the sheds trailing 27-15, but the home side broke through twice in the opening five minutes to pull away again, dashing the Rebels’ comeback hopes. 

However, Melbourne kept coming, with Nick Jooste finishing off some great work from Lukas Ripley and Carter Gordon, scoring the Rebels’ third try.  

Last week’s debutant, David Feliuai, would score Melbourne’s final try of the match, barging over from close range in the 74th minute. 

Among the standouts in the 25-44 loss, Carter Gordon continued his rapid growth, with the young fly half setting up the first try with a perfect short ball for Hodge, before delivering a looping ball to Wilkin, leading to Mafi running over to score. 

Meanwhile, Captain Brad Wilkin was relentless at the breakdown once again, while the hulking Pone Fa’amausili enjoyed his best game of the season, creating a strong point of difference off the bench. 

Yesterday also marked the fourth consecutive game the Rebels have scored 25 or more points, as they continue to build on playing an attractive, fast, fearless and resolute playing style. 

“We came out and played some good footy even at the end, but there were those phases in the middle where we just could not exit," said Rebels Head Coach, Kevin Foote. 

“We know that Kiwi teams live off that type of rugby so we have to be better, but when we’re putting our rugby together we’re looking good.”

The Rebels travel back to Melbourne with a crucial Round 5 Saturday night blockbuster against the Reds awaiting them. For tickets, click here

Select the player that had the most impact in this week's game v The Chiefs for your chance to win a 2023 Rebels Away Jersey.

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