Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have completed their Super Rugby pre-season with an 85-0 warm up match against Samoa at AAMI Park.
The Rebels ran in eleven unanswered tries ahead of their Super Rugby opening match against the Force.
Fielding a near full-strength team, after the late withdrawal of Luke Jones following the birth of his first daughter in the morning, the Rebels scored 13 unanswered tries in front of 6,205 spectators.
The hosts couldn’t have asked for a better start when left winger Reece Hodge opened the scoring in the first minute before Ben Meehan doubled the advantage under the posts after Jack Debreczeni found space on the wing.
The Rebels added to their tally with two tries in five minutes when Debreczeni scored in the corner after a charge down from captain Sean McMahon on halfway followed by a well executed try from a lineout rolling maul.
Hodge’s second for the game on the stroke of half-time saw the Rebels take a 38-0 lead into half-time before tries from Ellison and Jonah Placid after the break brought up the half-century for the locals.
Substitute Tom English scored twice, bookending a second rolling maul try from a lineout as the Rebels doubled their lead midway through the second half.
The Rebels finished the game the same way they started as Dom Shipperley scored in the final to run out 85-point victors.
“It was a fantastic hit out for us,” Rebels Head Coach Tony McGahan said post-match. “It was the first time that a lot of our players have played minutes this year, great to get some combinations and great to get on the paddock for a good 15 v 15 with a lot of our key players playing.
“The game was nice and physical when it needed to be and we’ll get a lot out of that so it was good to get some bumps, scrums and lineouts which we haven’t had a lot of for the last few weeks.
“No injuries, fantastic crowd, fantastic advertisement for the Rebels and fantastic for Melbourne Rugby.”
Final Score Melbourne Rebels 85 (38) Samoa 0 (0)
Cruze Ah Nau, Ryan Cocker, Steve Cummins, Colby Fainga’a, Scott Fuglistaller, James Hanson, Luke Jones, Pat Leafa, Sean McMahon (captain), Jordy Reid, Culum Retallick, Siliva Siliva, Toby Smith, Adam Thomson, Lopeti Timani, Laurie Weeks.
Jack Debreczeni, Tamati Ellison, Tom English, Mike Harris, Dan Hawkins, Reece Hodge, Mitch Inman, Ben Meehan, Jonah Placid, Dom Shipperley, Mick Snowden.
Jake Grey, Tietie Tuimauga, Semiperive Semeane, Siliva Tapu, Valentine Meachen, Oneone Faafou, Tumama Tuulua, Talaga Alofipo, Nissan Aitui, Mikaele Tapili, Greg Foe, Joseph Fuimaono, Melani Matavao, Vaiofoga Simanu, Sofara Mai, Stefano Hunt, Vaovasa Afa, Faleniu Iosi, Faialaga Afamasaga, Sam Franklin, Titi Esau, Isaia Petelo, Lester Sefo