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Rebels Make Winning Start to Super Rugby Pacific Preparations

After 3 long months the Rebels put their preseason work to the test,  defeating the Waratahs in a lively trial match.
After 3 long months the Rebels put their preseason work to the test, defeating the Waratahs in a lively trial match.

The Melbourne Rebels have begun preparations for the upcoming Super Rugby Pacific season in impressive fashion, overpowering the Waratahs 35-14 in Sydney on Thursday.

In a lively affair, the eighty-minute contest was broken into four twenty-minute quarters, with both sides naming a first half and second half line-up.

A strong driving maul try from veteran James Hanson saw the Rebels head to the sheds leading 7-0 at the half, before outscoring a stubborn Waratah’s outfit 28-14 in the second forty with a number of new players leading the way.

Melbourne Rebels Attack Coach Ryan Martin said it was a pleasing first up performance.

“I was really happy from the attack side of the ball with all the hard work we’ve done over the last ten weeks with skills and skills acquisition and what I call pulling the trigger and executing,” said Martin.

“There were a couple of tries out there today that came about through awesome skill sets and guys finishing so from that perspective you’re always happy.

“There’s also a lot of work for us to still do in January to make sure we’re prepared for this season, but for me I’m a big believer in winning everything you can – I think it’s great for culture, so I’m happy in that regard.”

Melbourne entered the contest boasting a number of new faces including Olympian Joe Pincus, Tamati Ioane and Nick Jooste – each of whom scored tries during their debyt appearance in the navy and red.

Benjamin Tuiomanufili, Edya Haisila, Sef Fa’agase, Mason Gordon and Theo Fourie also received game time, impressing with their work rate and tenacity in what was an intense second-half of rugby.

Martin said it was great to have the Club’s new players put their hands up for senior selection.

“We had some of our EP boys in our team today as a reward for all the hard work they’ve done this off-season and to be honest, they all impressed which is really pleasing.

“It’s a great situation for coaches to be in when players are putting positional pressure because they’re playing so well.

“A great problem to have.”

The Melbourne Rebels will now enjoy a well-earned two-week break before returning to training on January 3.

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