Super Rugby

Lions beat Rebels in Melbourne


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Melbourne’s Rebels returned home from their tour of South Africa earlier this week but they still face South African opposition and this week it’s the Lions.

The Rebels have played the Lions three times in Super rugby and have lost all three matches.

The Australian side returns from an unsuccessful tour of South Africa which saw them not win a match or score a try as they lost to the Kings and drew with the Sharks.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

The teams are out on the field. There has been some rain in Melbourne and pitch conditions could be slippery.

1.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are underway and the Lions have a scrum on halfway.

3.00: Amanaki Mafi wins the ball at the breakdown with the Lions on the attack inside the Rebels’ 22. Ben Volavola clears to the halfway and the visitors have the throw.

5.00: Ben Meehan breaks to the blindside and kicks the ball away. Courtnall Skosan collects and set up the Lions attack. Several phases later, the winger is tackled into touch after Elton Jantjies sends him away down the sideline. Marika Koroibete makes the try-saving tackle.

7.00: The Lions come again. Some good defence sees Lionel Mapoe kick a grubber into touch. The South Africans win the Rebels’ lineout and are camped inside their 22.

10.00: The teams are running from everywhere. Shuhei Kubo calls Reece Hodge to ask him what options he’d like after the penalty is awarded. Ben Volavola was hit late by a Lions player and is down getting treatment.

10.00: MISS! Hodge’s penalty goes past the right hand upright and it’s still scoreless in Melbourne.

12.00: Some poor handling sees the ball turned over by both teams. It’s the Lions who pin the Rebels back inside their 22. Meehan clears, under pressure, and the visitors will have the throw.

15.00: The Lions drive their way from the Rebels’ 10 to their 22 and win the penalty for collapsing. Jantjies kicks to touch and we will have another lineout drive.

16.00: Janjies puts in a little banana dink-kick but the chasers are pinged for offsides. The Rebels survive.

18.00: The Lions have a scrum on halfway. The Rebels can’t put multiple phases together and cough up possession.

20.00: Jantjies takes a quick-tap penalty and the Lions attack inside the Rebels’ 22. Warren Whiteley is tackled short, the ball is recycled quickly and Ross Cronje passes to Albertus Smith, who spins out of a tackle and scores near the posts.

21.00: Jantjies’ chip shot is good and the Lions lead by seven.

23.00: The Lions have possession and lose the ball after Skosan is hit with a big tackle from Sefa Naivalu. Ouch. The Lions are awarded a penalty though.

25.00: Jantjies kicks to touch and the visitors will have a lineout about nine metres out.

26.00: TRY Ross Cronjé! The scrumhalf darts through the defenders after a give and go with Whiteley. 

27.00: Jantjies draws his conversion inside the left-hand upright. 

28.00: TRY Tom English! The Rebels hit back. Mafi set the move going with a break in midfield. The Rebels set up a few phases and Meehan’s grubber in behind the defenders, is dotted down by English.

29.00: Reece Hodge nails the touchline conversion and the gap is seven points with 11 minutes until half-time.

31.00: The Rebels, after intense pressure, wins a penalty a can clear their lines. Great D from the home team.

32.00: Tom English’s try was the first by the Rebels for 251 minutes. Wow!

35.00: Marika Koroibete saves the day with a dot down inside the Rebels’ in-goal area. The Lions will scrum on their opponent’s 5.

37.00: The Lions batch their attack with an obstruction between Jantjies and Mapoe.

39.00: A scuffle ensues after some helter-skelter play. The Lions will scrum, inside their half, near the touchline.

40.00: TRY Courtnall Skosan! The Lions score on the stroke of half-time. They spread the ball right to left, Skosan straightens and goes through a non-existent defence to open up a 12 point lead.

41.00: MISS! Jantjies misses the conversion after the hooter but, the Lions lead at the break.

The half-time score was Rebels 7 Lions 19

41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway with Reece Hodge’s restart.

43.00: The Rebels are awarded a penalty by Shuhei Kubo. Hodge kicks to the corner. The Rebels have enjoyed some good possession since their try and will look to capitalise on good field position.

45.00: Kwagga Smith is penalised and this time, the Rebels will have a shot at goal.

46.00: PENALTY Reece Hodge! The Rebels reduce the deficit to nine.

47.00: The Rebels win another counter-ruck and are awarded a penalty. The forwards get up and there is lots of back-slapping.

49.00: Amanaki Mafi loses the ball in the pass and the Lions survive. The hosts had numbers out wide and missed an opportunity; they will now scrum.

50.00: TRY Sylvian Mahuza! What a try, one of the best you’ll see. Elton Jantjies collects a high ball and releases Mahuza from the Lions 22. He charges up the middle and through the Rebels defenders. Ben Volavola tried to stop the winger but was bounced off. Mahuza cut inside and sold tom English a dummy as he raced to the try-line.

51.00: Jantjies adds the extras.

54.00: Another Lions move breaks down with a poor pass but, they have upped the tempo and the Rebels have no answers. Scrum to the Joburg team inside the Aussies’ half.

57.00: The Lions are inside the Rebels’ 22 and going through the phases, however, the momentum is lost with another handling error. The Rebels survive, just.

60.00: The Lions come again. Tyrel Lomax is penalised for being offsides. The South Africans are starting to turn the screw. Jantjies kicks to touch and the Lions will look to their formidable lineout drive.

61.00: YELLOW CARD Culum Retallick! 

62.00: PENALTY TRY! wow! Mr Kubo has gone to his pocket and awarded a penalty try after just one infringement at the rolling maul. 

65.00: TRY Anthony Volmink! Reece Hodge’s loose pass inside the Lions territory is picked up by the substitute, who runs away 70 metres to score. Game over.

66.00: Jantjies makes it 40 for the visitors with another easy conversion.

69.00: The Rebels are attacking but cannot find a way through the Lions D.

74.00: The Rebels continue to win penalties and are camped inside the Lions’ 22.

76.00: The Lions survive the late onslaught and have crushed the rebellion.

79.00: Johan Ackermann’s men are now in good field position and camped inside the Rebels’ 22.

80.00: TRY Warren Whiteley! The skipper gets a score under the poles after receiving the pass from Ruan Ackermann.

81.00: Jantjies adds the fifth conversion of the afternoon.

Live In-Play Betting.

The final score is Rebels 10 (7) Lions 47 (19)


Tries – English
Pen – Hodge
Con – Hodge
Drop –
Cards – Retallick (Yellow, 62nd minute)

Tries – A. Smith, Cronje, Skosan, Mahuza, Penalty try, Volmink, Whiteley
Pen –
Con – Jantjies (5)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Shuhei Kubo
Assistant Ref 1: Ed Martin
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith


Melbourne Rebels

15 Reece Hodge, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a (captain), 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.

Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Culum Retallick, 20 Will Miller, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Jack Maddocks


15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Robert Kruger, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Anthony Volmink.

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