Late penalty seals Rebels win

Saturday April 15, 2017

The Melbourne Rebels came from behind to claim their first win of the season when they defeated the Brumbies, 19-17 at AAMI Park, Melbourne on Saturday night.

A late penalty by Reece Hodge in the dying minutes sealed the win over the Australian Conference leaders and capped off celebrations for foundation player Laurie Weeks’ 100th Super Rugby appearance.

The Rebels opened the scoring first when Hodge booted the hosts to a 3-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes.

The AAMI Park crowd soon roared into life when right-winger, Sefa Naivalu burst through four tackles to score his first try of the season on the 14th minute. Hodge converted to make to give the Rebels a 10-0 on the quarter-hour.

The hosts were tested when the Rebels found themselves down two players after both flankers Colby Fainga’a and Lopeti Timani were simultaneously sent to the sin bin, on the 16th minute.

The Brumbies took advantage when Henry Speight broke down the right side to cut the margin in half just three minutes later before resolute and gritty defence stifled the Brumbies.

With the Rebels back at full strength, the Brumbies set-piece gave the visitors a 12-10 lead when Jarrad Butler crossed the chalk from the back of the scrum in the 33rd minute.

Hodge restored the Rebels lead when he converted a penalty to make the scores 13-12 with three minutes to go before the break.

The Rebels were denied a try on the half-time buzzer when Naivalu crossed in the corner but the TMO confirmed the winger’s ankle grazed the touchline paint after a desperate tackle from Tom Banks.

The Brumbies made use of another man advantage when Speight added his second of the night to give the visitors a 17-13 lead three minutes after the restart.

Hodge ensure the Rebels were in for a tight finish when he cut the deficit to 17-16 courtesy of a penalty on the 59th minute.

The host’s set-piece provided the platform for the upset victory when the Rebels won a penalty from a scrum against the feed in the 77th minute and Hodge made no mistake.

The Rebels held off a late surge from the Brumbies in the shadows of full-time to secure their first win of the season with the 19-17 victory and send the AAMI Park crowd into raptures.

Melbourne Rebels 19 (Naivalu try; Hodge 1 con; Hodge 4 pens) defeated Brumbies 17 (Speight 2, Butler tries; Hawera 1 con).

News Source: Melbourne Rebels