Super Rugby

Bulls beat Rebels in Melbourne



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The Melbourne Rebels have played the Bulls six times in Super Rugby since 2011, the Rebels have won once and lost five times.

The Bulls’ solitary defeat against the Rebels was by one point, at AAMI Park in June 2015.

  • The Rebels have won four of their last five home games in Super Rugby; the only defeat was a 41-17 hammering against the Stormers in April.
  • The Bulls have lost nine of their 10 Super Rugby games in Australia since the beginning of 2013
  • The men from Pretoria failed to score more than 20 points in nine of those defeats.
  • The Rebels have stolen 16 lineouts this season, more than any other team and more than three times as many as the Bulls (5).
  • Handre Pollard has kicked the most goals (51) in Super Rugby 2019, only Sunwolves’ Hayden Parker (40) is between him and Rebels’ best Quade Cooper (38).

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Australia.

3.00: The home team has started well, putting together a sustained attack, however, the Bulls defending pushes the Rebels back inside their half.

4.00: Quade Cooper takes the ball to the advantage line and puts Matt Philip thought a hole. The lock races into the opposition’s 22, but the South Africans scramble-defence, keep the home side out.

6.00: The Rebels keep calm, and win a penalty. It was a four-minute attack, going through two series of multiple attacks. The Bulls give away two penalties in quick succession.

7.00: Cooper, again, goes to the corner. The Bulls stop the driving maul; their defence has been solid, forcing Melbourne to kick. Pote Human’s side has not touched the ball.

8.00: TRY! Wave after wave of attacks is being repelled before Marika Koroibete crosses. Cooper and Dane Haylett-Petty combined, after another strong run by Philip, to put the winger away for the opening score. 5-0

10.00: CONVERSION! Cooper adds the two. 7-0

11.00: TRY! The Bulls restart, only the second time they’ve touched the ball, and win a penalty. Handré Pollard, curiously and against type, and kick to the corner. Cornal Hendricks finishes off in the corner after taking Pollard’s pin-point cross-kick. The Rebels held off the driving maul, but not the Springbok flyhalf. 7-5

12.00: CONVERSION! Pollard’s kick fades inside the left-hand upright. 7-all

14.00: A scuffle breaks out after the restart, ending with a penalty to the home side. Haylett-Petty kicks a superb penalty to the %m.

16.00: The Bulls survive another goal-line stand. They win the turnover and counter-attack from their 22.

17.00: TRY! Wonderful transitional play by the Saffas. Rosco Specman breaks, takes a tackle before the ball is sent wide to Hendricks. The ball is recycled to Pollard, who dances through Melbourne’s forwards to score under the poles. 7-12

18.00: CONVERSION! Pollard converts his try. 7-14

20.00: Madness in Melbourne. The Bulls try to run the ball from behind their line after bringing the ball into their in-goal area. A sliced kick leads to a penalty to the Rebels, who kick to the corner. But another turnover, from the fifth driving maul, sees the Bulls relieve the pressure. Chaos.

21.00: Duane Vermeulen gets his hands on the ball, but he is pinged by the referee for not releasing. Pollard is called over by Federico Anselmi because of the mounting penalty count.

23.00: The Bulls strip the ball from an attacker and clear their lines. It’s all Rebels, as they search for the equaliser.

25.00: Schalk Brits wins a penalty at the breakdown. Phew! Time for a breather.

27.00: TRY! Will Genia you beauty! Melbourne loses possession inside the visitor’s half. André Warner kicks a shallow box-kick, which leads to Hugh Roach picking up the bouncing ball, and playing Jack Maddocks, in support. The winger takes his time before linking with Koroibete, who puts Genia away. 12-14

29.00: MISS! Cooper’s kick is no good. 12-14

32.00: No issues with the clearance except for Pollard not finding touch. Human will be livid that his men are giving away possession, cheaply.

34.00: Snyman collects the bouncing ball after Cooper’s knock on. He charges forward, looks for support, but Specman cannot hang onto the ball. The ref plays one of the shortest advantages in rugby history, but the Bulls survive.

35.00: Maddocks drops a high ball, Brits collects and plays an inside pass to Hanro Liebenberg. He can’t hang on because a stray Rebels’ hand gets in the way. somehow, the ref awards the first scrum of the game in the 35th-minute. Insane.

37.00: Second scrum of the game: ring out the bells.

38.00: The stoppages are coming thick and fast, now. Players need some treatment as well as H2O.

40.00: Third scrum.

41.00: SCRUM-PENALTY! Pollard calls for the tee.

42.00: PENALTY! Pollard drills his kick between the uprights. 12-17

The halftime score was Rebels 12 Bulls 17

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway down under.

42.00: Rob Leota breaks after Cooper’s pass, but the ball is lost to Specman to clear.

43.00: TRY! Koroibete at the double! Jermaine Ainsley found himself inside the tram tracks after some quick ball. Koroibete played Maddocks, who sent the pass to the tighthead prop. He took contact and Koroibete was the first man to the ruck. He picked up and drove himself over the line from close range to level. 17-all

45.00: MISS! Cooper’s kick is not successful. 17-all

47.00: The TMO is checked for foul play, but there was nothing to see.

50.00: All of a sudden, we have scrums galore. Three resets have sucked the life from the Rebels.

52.00: Warrick Gelant and Burger Odendaal combined with a sweet one-two after the fullback broke from his half. Odendaal sent Gelant away, he was supported by Liebenberg but the centre dropped the ball with the try-line beckoning.

54.00: Brits, celebrating his 38th birthday, starts an attack after the lineout. The Bulls are punching their way forward, but it’s slow ball.

55.00: Oh dear! That is rubbish! The Bulls were camped on the goal-line, but – as always – they have no patience, knocking on because of a sloppy pick-up at the base of the ruck. Rebels get out of jail, again.

57.00: More reset scrums.

58.00: TRY! Sensational play from Specman to set-up Odendaal. The sevens specialist beat Cooper to the bouncing ball, ducked under his tackle and played a basketball lob to the centre. Odendaal swerved two tacklers and ran away under the sticks. Wow! 17-22

59.00: CONVERSION! No worries. 17-24

60.00: MISS! Pollard misses a penalty, he didn’t strike the ball well at all.

62.00: Wessels’ side is still trying to play up-tempo, but maybe they should slow it down and have some sustained periods with the ball.

63.00: Specman’s dreadlocks get in his eyes, knocking on with Gelant on his inside.

64.00: Melbourne sacks the Bulls’ maul legally, winning a scrum. Superb from the Australian pack.

67.00: Another sacked maul goes to the hosts.

68.00: The Bulls win the turnover after ripping away the ball in a maul. Snyman takes Warner’s pass and begins a counter. The lock plays Odendaal, who in turn, passes to Pollard. The flyhalf sends Hendricks away. The winger kicks, chases, and tackles Koroibete over the Aussies’ try-line. 5m scrum to the Bulls.

69.00: TRY! Another stunner as Specman finishes from a first-phase attack. Warner passed to Pollard from through Genia’s legs. The ball was shifted from Odendaal to Gelant, joining the line. The fullback sucked in three defenders and launched a floated wide pass to Specman, alone on the wing. 17-29

71.00: MISS! Pollard has lost his radar. 17-29

74.00: SCRUM-PENALTY! That could be the end of this contest. Pollard calls for the tee.

75.00: PENALTY! Pollard makes no mistake, this time: game over! 17-32

78.00: Penalty to the hosts.

80.00: The Rebels go close, but are held off, however, they are awarded another penalty.

81.00: Game over! The Bulls win the lineout, and clear for their first win outside SA since 2015 and first in OZ since 2013.


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The final score is Rebels 17 (12) Bulls 32 (17)


Tries – Koroibete (2), Genia
Pen –
Con – Cooper
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Hendricks, Pollard, Odendaal, Specman
Pen – Pollard (2)
Con – Pollard (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Aaron Pook
TMO: Ian Smith



15 Dane Haylett-Petty (c), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Rob Leota, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner

Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Pone Fa’amausili, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Campbell Magnay, 23 Matt To’omua


15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard (c), 9 André Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw

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