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Rebels secure first historic victory over Waratahs

Berrick Barnes is stopped by the Rebels defence

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Article Published: Friday 24 May 2013|


The Melbourne Rebels secured back to back victories in Super Rugby when they beat the Waratahs 24-22 for their first ever victory over the men from Sydney.

The Rebels have played the Waratahs five times previously and lost on all five occasions.

The Rebels beat the Stormers last weekend at AAMI Park and followed it up two tries to one victory over the Waratahs. Like last week the Rebels did it again without their stars Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor.

Winger Tom English's second try of the night with five minutes remaining gave the Rebels the lead which they managed to hold on to.

The try followed sustained pressure by the Waratahs over 22 phases and after the visitors had dominated play for much of the final 20 minutes.

Replacement half back Brendan McKibbin had an opportunity to win the match for the Waratahs with a penalty kick two minutes from time but missed.

The result is the Rebels fourth win of the season and leaves them seven points behind the third-placed Waratahs in the Australian conference.

The Rebels began bullishly, with English finishing off a passing rush following a turnover win in the 10th minute.

But the Waratahs hit back near halftime when new Wallaby selection Israel Folau latched onto Lachlan Mitchell's risky pass close to the Rebels try-line to score an intercept and his eighth try in his first Super Rugby season since switching from rugby league.

Berrick Barnes was in immaculate goalkicking touch, landing a conversion and four penalties from as many attempts to have the Waratahs in front 19-13 shortly after halftime.

But the dogged Rebels kept working hard and drew level at 19-19 off two Jason Woodward penalties.

McKibbin put the Waratahs in front with a penalty but the Rebels got the winning break with English's second try after a line break from Woodward.

"That was an extremely tough game, and I am absolutely rapt with how the boys held on there," Rebels' skipper Scott Higginbotham said.

"Our defence has improved in leaps and bounds since the start of the season, so we're very proud of that."

Waratahs skipper Dave Dennis blamed a poor attitude by his team for the defeat.

"We didn't have the right attitude going into the game and it showed. "

"The first half we were poor and discipline in the second half hurt us as well, it was a really disappointing result," Dennis said.

"We came down here probably thinking everything was going to happen for us. "

"We had had a couple of good wins and we thought things would flow on from that."

Next weekend the Waratahs face the Crusaders in Christchurch while the Rebels travel to Brisbane to play the Reds.

Final Score Rebels 24 (13) Waratahs 22 (16)


Tries - T.English 2
Pen - J.Woodward 4
Con - J.Woodward
Drop -
Cards -

Tries - I.Folau
Pen - B.Barnes 5
Con - B.Barnes
Drop -
Cards -

Match Officials
Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1:Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 2:Matt O'Brien
TMO : Peter Marshall



1. Nic Henderson , 2. Ged Robinson , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Hugh Pyle , 5. Luke Jones , 6. Jarrod Saffy , 7. Scott Fuglistaller , 8. Scott Higginbotham (C) , 9. Nick Phipps , 10. Bryce Hegarty , 11. Lachlan Mitchell , 12. Rory Sidey , 13. Mitch Inman , 14. Tom English , 15. Jason Woodward

16. Shota Horie , 17. Paul Alo-Emile , 18. Cadeyrn Neville , 19. Gareth Delve , 20. Nic Stirzaker , 21. James Hilgendorf , 22. Kimami Sitauti


1. Benn Robinson , 2. John Ulugia , 3. Sekope Kepu , 4. Sitaleki Timani , 5. Kane Douglas , 6. Dave Dennis (c), 7. Michael Hooper , 8. Wycliff Palu , 9. Matt Lucas , 10. Bernard Foley , 11. Drew Mitchell , 12. Berrick Barnes , 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper , 14. Peter Betham , 15. Israel Folau

Replacements, 16. Luke Holmes , 17. Paddy Ryan , 18. Will Skelton , 19. Mitchell Chapman , 20. Brendan McKibbin , 21. Rob Horne , 22. Tom Kingston

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