Late penalty seals draw in Durban

Sunday April 23, 2017

The Melbourne Rebels have secured the first draw in the club’s history with a kick after the siren to seal a 9-9 draw against the Sharks at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday night.

For the second week in a row, the boot of Reece Hodge secured the points for the Rebels.

The try-less game saw both sides finish the game with three penalties a piece and a man down after two red cards.

The visitors were tested early when captain Nic Stirzaker was shown his first yellow card for an intentional knock down in just the fourth minute of play.

Despite the disadvantage, the Rebels were resilient to hold the hosts scoreless during the 10 minutes, and even add points of their own.

Hodge picked up where he left off last week to give his side an early 3-0 lead on the eighth minute.

Momentum shifted in favour of the Rebels when Sharks inside centre Andre Esterhuizenwas shown a straight red card midway through the half for a dangerous tackle on Sefa Naivalu.

The hosts levelled the scores in the 25th minute through the boot of Curwin Bosch from directly in front.

The Rebels converted possession and territory into a 6-3 half-time lead when Hodge struck his second penalty for the game on the half-hour mark.

Melbourne found themselves down a man again early in the second-half when substitute James Hanson was handed a yellow card for collapsing the maul just minutes after taking the field.

After the Rebels held out the Sharks with resolute and scrappy defence, the hosts eventually levelled the scores 6-6 through Bosch in the 64th minute.

The Rebels received another blow ten minutes from full-time when Stirzaker was shown a second yellow card for the match for another deliberate knock down which relegated his side to 14 men for the remainder of the game.

The Sharks continued to dominate possession and territory but solid defence stifled the hosts until Bosch gave his side the lead for the first time in the game with a penalty two minutes from full-time.

However the match wasn’t quite over hey, and Hodge held his nerve to slot a penalty from 35 metres out after the full-time siren to seal the two points.

Melbourne Rebels 9 (Hodge 3 pens) drew with the Sharks 9 (Bosch 3 pens)

News Source: Melbourne Rebels