Super Rugby

Rousing Rebels rout Sunwolves




The Rebels routed the Sunwolves 40-13 at AAMI Park, Melbourne, consolidating second place in the Australian Conference.

Marika Koroibete grabbed a hat-trick and Jack Maddocks a brace in a night for the wingers.

The bonus-point win puts the Melbourne Rebels one point behind the Waratahs on the log and into seventh in the overall Super Rugby standings.

Six of the seven tries were scored by the wings, with Lomano Lemeki getting the Sunwolves’ only five-pointer in the defeat.

The Sunwolves could not shake their Super Rugby away hoodoo, and their losing streak is extended to 20 after this heavy defeat.

The Melbourne side raced to a 21-7 lead after trailing by seven in the fourth minute.

Hayden Parker kicked two penalties to reduce the deficit to eight at the break.

It was all the Sunwolves could muster; they were steam-rollered in the second half.

The Australians put their foot down, scoring three more tries through their flying finishers.

They kept the visitors scoreless in the second half with some solid, and at times, brutal defending.

Maddocks went close to another treble but it was Koroibete, scoring two in three minutes at the death, who stole the show.

The Sunwolves got off to the perfect start, scoring a well-worked move which saw Lemeki run in the games opening try.

Hayden Parker, kicking at 96 percent in this season’s tournament, added the extras.

The lead did not last long.

Billy Meakes, who broke the line and found space in the midfield throughout the match, set up Koroibete for his first.

The centre showed a turn of pace, sold a dummy before putting the winger away.

Reece Hodge levelled. That would be the last time the home side trailed.

Maddocks was soon in on the act.

Michael Ruru’s pass was deflected to the floor. He gathered, darted inside, sucking in the pillar defenders before unleashing the wing.

Maddocks broke Keisuke Uchida’s tackle and was under the sticks.

The Rebels were starting to dominate the contact areas and getting the ball to their wide men.

Their control with ball in hand has rapidly improved this season and another long series of phases resulted in their third try.

They held the ball for 13 phases, won a penalty and kicked to the corner.

A quick lineout and several pick-and-drives saw their big No 8 Amanaki Mafi crash over.

The Sunwolves were trying to stop the rot, holding onto the ball, but losing it in contact or with some sloppy handling.

Ed Quirk’s excellent work at the breakdown resulted in Parker kicking a long-range penalty to reduce the gap.

The standoff kicked another before the break to keep his team in the hunt.

Second-half blowout.

The Rebels came out firing after the break.

Maddocks had his eighth try of the campaign – and fifth against the Sunwolves this season – after some more good work by the backs.

The Sunwolves had started to play.

They went close a couple of times but could not find the finishing touch.

Another Meakes break, turnover and counter-attack, resulted in Lemeki being shown a yellow card for cynical play.

Meakes burst into the 22 and popped a pass out the back door to the supporting Angus Cottrell, who was tackled by Lemeki.

The ball was lost forward and the Sunwolves cleared, but the referee called on the TMO to discuss whether or not the infringement warranted a penalty-try, as well.

It did not.

The Japanese could not keep the wolves from the door, succumbing to more pressure – and Koroibete.

The Rebels shifted the ball through the hands, drawing the defenders before putting the winger away.

Hodge played Dane Haylett-Petty, who threw a long skip-pass out to the touchline for Koroibete.

There was nobody in front to stop him getting his third career double.

It would get even better for the flyer.

The winger collected Lopeti Timani’s pass, with support in numbers everywhere.

He threw a dummy and cut inside, beating the cover tackle for his treble.

Lemeki went close again but was smoked by Sefa Naivalu in a battle of “The Tongan Godzilla” versus the “Fijian Flyer.”

It was the story of the night for the visitors.

Rebels versus Sunwolves video highlights.

Final score: Rebels 40 (21) Sunwolves 13 (13)


Tries – Koroibete (3), Maddocks (2), Mafi
Pen –
Con – Hodge (5)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Lemeki
Pen – Parker (2)
Con – Parker
Drop –
Cards – Lemeki (Yellow, 63′)

Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Jordan Way
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: Ian Smith



15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga.

Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Tayler Adams, 23 Sefa Naivalu.


15 Jason Emery, 14 Lomano Lemeki, 13 Michael Little, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Grant Hattingh, 5 Shinya Makabe, 4 James Moore, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Craig Millar.

Replacements: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Harumichi Tatekawa, 23 Semisi Masirewa.

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