Melbourne - Melbourne Rebels posted their biggest win in Super Rugby with a 35-14
victory over the Cheetahs in Melbourne on Friday.As it happened: Rebels v Cheetahs
Rebels, with skipper Scott Higginbotham in outstanding form, scored
five tries to two for a bonus-point win over the Cheetahs.
It was Melbourne's first win in four meetings with the Cheetahs and an encouraging opening game to their Super Rugby campaign.
Rebels dominated the South Africans in the first half to lead 17-0 at
half-time and withstood the Cheetahs' comeback to 24-14 before pulling
away in the final 10 minutes.
Quick thinking by Higginbotham
created his team's second try with a high kick to the right corner for
fullback Jason Woodward to score, and the big number eight finished it
off with a try in stoppage time after a rousing counter-attack.
a great way to start the season, it's nice to get a bonus point and
they really came back at us in the second half, credit to the boys, they
really held on," Higginbotham said.
"We got them on the back foot and it really started to open up for us."
began strongly and scored two tries in the opening 20 minutes before
former Wallaby scrum-half Luke Burgess darted over from a ruck close to
the Cheetahs' try-line to stretch the lead to 17-0.
The Cheetahs hit back early in the second half with replacement Jean Cook scoring off a maul.
despite losing open-side flanker Scott Fuglistaller to a yellow card in
the 51st minute they clinched a four-try bonus point through Bryce
The Cheetahs scored their second try through replacement
Ryno Barnes to get within 10 points but the home side finished strongly
with their fifth try coming deep into stoppage time through
"We were very lethargic, especially in the first
half, and we weren't there in attack, we didn't ask any questions of
them," Cheetahs skipper Adriaan Strauss said.
"Credit to the Rebels, they got a lot of yards on us in attack and they made us pay.
were shocking at ruck time, we lost possession three or four times from
the set phase in the first ruck and we couldn't get any plays going.
"They definitely upset today, especially at the breakdown."
Cheetahs stay in Australia where they will take on Reds in
Brisbane next Friday, while the Rebels travel to Perth to take on the Force.Scorers:
Tries: Lachlan Mitchell, Jason Woodward, Luke Burgess, Bryce Hegarty, Scott Higginbotham.
Conversions: Bryce Hegarty (2)
Drop Goal: Angus Roberts.
Tries: Jean Cook, Rayno Barnes.
Conversions: Johan Goosen (2)Teams:
15 Jason Woodward, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch
Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott
Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke
Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith
Substitutes:16 Steve Fualau, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul
Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Ben Meehan, 22
Angus Roberts, 23 Tom KingstonCheetahs
15 Willie le
Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11
Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7
Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de
Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Rynard Landman, 20
Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Rayno Benjamin