Melbourne’s Rebels secured their first ever Super rugby victory over Johannesburg’s Lions beating the South African side 37-17 at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
The Rebels had played the Lions five times and lost each match with an average score of 22-35 but ended the drought with a bonus point win.
The result keeps the Rebels provisionally in 9th place overall while the Lions drop a place to 12th.
The Lions had 57% of the possession and spent a quarter of the match with an extra man as the Rebels lost two players to the sin-bin but the South Africans made too many errors and could not capitalise on their advantages.
The Rebels went out to a 15-0 lead by the half hour mark through tries from Andrew Kellaway and Richard Hardwick but their discipline let them down and this allowed the Lions to comeback at them.
Yellow cards to Marika Koroibete and Tom English in the final 10 minutes of the opening half helped the visitors.
Lions winger Jamba Ulengo was able to score an easy try when he crossed in the corner untouched and Elton Jantjies converted the try as well as kicked a penalty right at the end of the half to make it 15-10.
The Rebels took control again early on after the break as Isi Naisarani crossed the line for the hosts third try and Dane Haylett-Petty also added a try.
The Lions scored what was really a consolation try by Sithembiso Sithole and Jantjies converted.
The Rebels finished off on a high as Kellaway also crossed for a second try which makes this his third double of the season.
“It was a very good win, really proud of the boys, the main thing was probably the work ethic, we chased everything and showed a lot of heart,” said Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty.
“Attack was good, defence was good, we’re building really nicely.”
The loss is the Lions third straight loss as in the previous rounds they have been beaten by the Stormers and Waratahs.
The Lions only victory from five matches was against the Reds at home in Johannesburg.
Next week the Rebels have a bye while the Lions travel to Auckland where they will play a resurgent Blues team at Eden Park.
Final Score Rebels 37 (15) Lions 17 (10)
Tries – A.Kellaway 2, R.Hardwick. I.Naisarani, D.Haylett-Petty
Pen – M.Toomua 2
Con – M.Toomua 3
Cards – M.Koroibete (26th min yellow). T.English (39th min yellow)
Tries -J.Ulengo, S.Sithole
Pen – E.Jantjies
Con -E.Jantjies 2
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 1:Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2:James Quinn
TMO : James Leckie
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Tom English, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Cabous Eloff, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Frank Lomani, 22 Michael Wells, 23 Andrew Deegan
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Jan-Hemming Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Courtnall Skosan