Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Rebels down Sunwolves 37-17

REINFORCED:Twelve players from the jettisoned Western Force have joined the Rebels, helping the team set records with seven tries in their biggest Super Rugby match score


The South African Stormers’ Cobus Wiese, center, gets possession of the ball yesterday from the Canterbury Crusaders’ Sam Whitelock, second right, in their Super Rugby match in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Photo: AFP

The Melbourne Rebels yesterday won their second straight Super Rugby match as Jack Maddocks claimed a hat-trick of tries against the injury-hit Sunwolves in Tokyo.

The Rebels, bolstered by key off-season signings, including Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia, scored five tries and a penalty try, beating the Japanese side 37-17.

Rising star Maddocks scored the opening try for the Rebels after an excellent run on the left flank at the Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo.

The Melbourne side swiftly extended the lead as No. 8 Amanaki Mafi dived over for a try, while the conversion was just missed.

The Sunwolves, cheered on by the local crowd, struck back as Ryoto Nakamura booted a penalty, narrowing the gap to 10-3.

The Japanese side leveled the match 10-10 after William Tupou intercepted the ball and crossed for an easy try, followed by the conversion just before halftime.

However, the Rebels took back the lead early in the second half as Sefanaia Naivalu bagged a try.

The Rebels secured victory as Maddocks grabbed his second and third tries with brilliant runs on the right to complete his hat-trick.

Flanker Edward Quirk posted a try for the Sunwolves following a repeat of scrums, but the game ended with a penalty try for the Rebels just on the final whistle.

Last week, the new-look Rebels got off to a flying start to the season, beating the Queensland Reds 45-19.

Reinforced by 12 new players from the jettisoned Western Force, the Rebels set records with seven tries in their biggest match score in Super Rugby under former Force coach Dave Wessels.

The Sunwolves were forced to make a number of changes to their side with Lomano Lemeki and others injured during their loss to the Brumbies last week.

The Japanese side had a horror season in the southern hemisphere’s elite club competition last year, winning just two games. They had a chastening debut season in 2016, winning only one of 15 games.

The Rebels are to clash with the Brumbies on Friday in Australia, while the Sunwolves are to take on the Sharks on Saturday in South Africa.



George Bridge scored two first-half tries yesterday, as the Canterbury Crusaders made a blistering start and held off a second-half fightback to beat South Africa’s Stormers 45-28 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The eight-times Super Rugby champions had raced out to a 26-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes, but the visitors dominated the next 40 to reduce the deficit to 31-21 and put pressure back on the home side.

The Crusaders, led by captain Sam Whitelock and the rest of his pack, wrestled back control of the game in the final quarter to blow the scoreline out as the visitors made too many errors.

The Stormers, who have not won in New Zealand since 2013, were unable to get anything going in the first quarter as their set piece failed to function.

The home side also seized on numerous turnovers to score tries to Bridge, hooker Codie Taylor, flanker Billy Harmon and scrumhalf Bryn Hall.

Hall’s effort came just seconds after the Stormers had restarted following the try by Harmon, who was making his first Super Rugby start after Matt Todd was ruled out with a broken thumb.

Facing a 26-0 deficit and with 60 minutes to play, the Stormers finally got into the game and slowed the onslaught before they gaining some reward for their control inside the home team’s half with prop JC van Rensburg crossing.

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