The Melbourne Rebels will kick off the 2017 Super Rugby season with a match against the Blues at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
Hello everybody and thank you for joining us for the first match of the 2017 super rugby season.
There has been a late change to the Melbourne Rebels starting line-up. Jonah Placid starts on the left wing in place of Mitch Inman. Tom English moves to outside centre and Ben Volavola is named on the bench.
The teams are out on the field.
We are waiting for the kick off.
There will be a moment’s silence for Dan Vickerman.
Beep. Angus Gardner, blows and the game is underway.
2.00: The Blues keep the ball for over a dozen phases. Line-out Rebels in their 22.
4.00: Referee plays advantage for offsides. Blues opt for a shot at goal from 45 meters out.
5.00: Ihaia West opens the scoring for the Blues, 0-3.
6.00: The Rebels hit back immediately. Some smart hands on the right hand side leads to the skipper Nic Stirzaker scoring by the posts. The conversion is good. 7-3.
9.00: Rebels regain the kick-off and apply pressure on the Blues but knock on. Scrum Blues.
11.00: Penalty Blues who kick for touch.
13.00: The Rebels make ground up field, looking to go wide at every opportunity. Another knock-on and the Blues get the scrum.
15.00: The Blues kick deep, regather and are over the line. The referee goes to the TMO to see if the ball is grounded. This is the first use of the new TMO rules.
16.00: No try – held up. Scrum Blues on the 5m.
17.00: TRY! Pauliasi Manu scores from a pick and go after a blindside move. Conversion is missed by West.
19.00: The Rebels win a penalty for hands in the ruck.
21.oo: Garden-Bachop’s kick hits the post but the Rebels chase the kick and regather the ball after Jordy Reid charges down the kick. Garden-Bachop collects and scores but misses the extra two points.
24.00: Some aerial ping-pong results in a penalty to the Rebels for a late challenge by Steven Luatua.
25.00: Garden-Bachop misses the penalty. Stirzaker has not returned to the field after failing the HIA.
28.00: TRY Matt Duffie! The Blues score after a turnover in midfield. The ball is recycled and sent wide for the winger to score near the sticks. West adds the extras.
29.00: Penalty. Scrum. The Rebels kick to the corner deep to the right but the Blues send the ball back with interest for a line-out.
32.00: The Blues using the pick and go effectively but Akira Ioane’s grubber is touched down for a 22 drop out. Wasted ball by the Blues.
33.00: Penalty to the Blues after Hodge knock on results in offsides. West lines up and the kick is good. Blues extend their lead to six points.
36.00: The Rebels go through the phases and make ground into the Blues half and are awarded a penalty. Reece Hodge takes over the kicking duties and makes no mistake.
38.00: Rebels attack from a scrum inside their 22. Interception by Rieko Ioane from Reid’s poor floated pass. Conversion is good.
40.00: Halftime at AAMI Park
The Rebels will be disappointed to be 10 points behind at the break but some sloppy play has cost them.
The halftime score is Melbourne Rebels 15 Blues 25
40.00: Beep. We are back under way in Melbourne.
42.00: An early penalty to the Rebels for a Blues’ player being in front of the kicker. Hodge from wide and 37m out makes no mistake.
43.00: TRY! Wow. Augustine Pulu ghosts through the Rebels defence from a line-out near halfway and goes all the way for the score.
44.00: Conversion is good by West.
47.00: Big hit from Iaone on Hodge. Blues line-out but they lose the ball forward; advantage Rebels.
48.00: Penalty to the Rebels for a high challenge. They kick to touch but the line-out is not straight. Silly errors are proving costly to the home side. Scrum Blues
51.00: Another poor throw in the line-out by Pat Leafa. Try! Iaone gets another after picking up a loose ball and sells two dummies before crossing the white-wash. West passes 300 points in Super Rugby with his fourth conversion of the game. Bonus Point.
54.00: The Rebels attack the short side and enter the Blues half but lose the ball again. Scrum blues deep in their 22.
57.00: Rebels get a turnover and spread the ball wide. Another poor pass into touch and they concede possession.
59.00: Ben Meehan takes a quick tap penalty and nearly fumbles. Blues eventually win the back and set up some pick and goes. TMO is back in play. Melani Nanai and Meehan fight for the ball from a long kick but it looks like another try to the Blues.
60.00: Great kick from West behind the Rebels defence led to the try. West’s conversion is good and the game is all but over.
64.00: Try Blues! It’s Ioane to Ioane. Akira Ioane picks up a loose ball inside the Rebels 22, pops the ball to his brother Rieko who strolls in for his hat-trick. West doesn’t miss and this game is turning into a rout.
68.00: Rebels playing for pride now. Referee is talking to Blues captain Luatua about some ill-discipline. Rebels kick to the corner, 6 metres out but another line-out is lost.
71.00: The game is getting scrappy as the two teams run out of gas.
72.00: YELLOW CARD! Rene Ranger who has just come on is sent to the bin for illegal entry to the ruck.
75.00: Penalty to the Blues. Piers Francis steps up to take this kick and adds the 3 points.
80.00: The hooter goes and the Blues kick to touch. Game Over.
Join us tomorrow for more Super Rugby.
The final score after 80 minutes is Melbourne Rebels 18 (15) Blues 56 (25)
Tries – Stirzaker, Garden-Bachop
Pen – Hodge (2)
Con – Garden-Bachop
Tries – Manu, Duffie, Ioane (3), Pulu, Nanai
Pen – West (2), Francis
Con – West (6)
Card – Yellow, Ranger
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2:Will Houston
TMO : Ian Smith
1. Cruze Ah-Nau,2. Pat Leafa,3. Laurie Weeks,4. Steve Cummins,5. Lopeti Timani ,6. Jordy Reid,7. Colby Fainga’a,8. Amanaki Mafi^*,9. Nic Stirzaker (Captain),10. Jackson Garden-Bachop^*,11.Jonah Placid,12. Reece Hodge,13.Tom English,14. Jack Maddocks^*,15. Jack Debreczeni
Replacements : 16. Jordan Uelese^*,17. Tom Moloney,18. Tyrel Lomax^*,19. Culum Retallick,20. Jake Schatz*21. Ben Meehan,22. Sione Tuipulotu,23.Ben Volavola
^Super Rugby debut
Pauliasi Manu, Matt Moulds, Sione Mafileo, Jimmy Tupou, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Steven Luatua, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane; Augustine Pulu, Ihaia West, Melani Nanai, Piers Francis, Rieko Ioane, Matt Duffie, Michael Collins.
Replacements: Hame Faiva, Sam Prattley, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Scrafton,Murphy Taramai, Sam Nock, George Moala, Rene Ranger.