The Rebels beat the Waratahs 10-29 to retain the Weary Dunlop Shield in round four of Super Rugby AU at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.
It is the first time the Melbourne Rebels have won back-to-back Super Rugby matches against the NSW Waratahs.
The Rebels, who are on the road due to Covid-19 lockdown in Melbourne, recorded their second win in their last six away games and their first victory of the nascent tournament.
Melbourne led 10-19 at halftime thanks to a late first-half try by halfback Ryan Louwrens and the accurate boot of standoff Matt To’omua, who kicked four penalties and a conversion.
New South Wales led twice in the first stanza after a try by Alex Newsome and a penalty by Will Harrison.
That was as good as it got for Rob Penney’s charges, who did not score another point after the 23rd-minute.
The home team were their own worst enemies.
Super Rugby AU Round Four Video Highlights: Waratahs versus Rebels at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Ill-disciple saw Michael Hooper and Jed Hollaway receive yellow cards, which cost a combined 20 points; too much when the deficit is 12 points going into the final minutes.
Trying to play with 14 men for 20 minutes is also not the way to go in any contest, never mind close derbies.
To’omua, who collected 19 points from the tee, added his fifth penalty on 71 minutes.
Marika Koroibete’s barnstorming run saw him score his 19th Super Rugby try in his 50th game to finish off the weary Waratahs.
Both teams have one win from three matches after four rounds of Super Rugby AU.
Waratahs start strong, but wilt as the Rebels take control.
Newsome got the game’s first try, in the seventh minute, when he intercepted Reece Hodge’s careless pass on the blindside and raced untouched to score.
But To’omua’s trusty boot kept the Rebels in touch. He kicked three penalties as the visitors led by two in the first quarter.
Harrison regained the lead for the hosts with a 23rd-minute penalty from in front of the poles.
On the half-hour, Hooper was shown a yellow card for repeated cynical infringements inside the Waratahs‘ ‘red zone’.
The card proved costly as the home team conceded 10 points while Hooper sat on the naughty step.
To’omua knocked over his fourth straight-forward penalty.
On the stroke of halftime, Louwrens drove his way through two defenders, with the help of To’omua, to score Melbourne’s first try.
The standoff’s conversion opened up a two-score advantage for the visitors as the teams went into the shed.
The third quarter was a damp squib as both teams’ errors mounted, killing any chance for points.
The Waratahs lineout continued to be atrocious, seemingly losing almost every throw no matter who played hooker.
Melbourne put their foot down around the hour after dominating after halftime.
As the teams entered the final quarter, Dave Wessels’ men had most of the possession (73%) since the interval.
The Rebels had made 23 tackle busts to two and only had to attempt 44 tackles to the Tahs’ 118.
Wessels’ men kept coming, going close on several occasions.
Referee Angus Gardner had to have another word with the Waratahs for repeated infringements inside their red zone.
Andrew Deegan, on at first receiver for To’omua, missed a 68th-minute penalty from in front; however, the penalties kept mounting against the hosts.
Holloway, on for 45 seconds, saw yellow when the Waratahs conceded their sixth penalty in succession on their 22.
The game was, essentially, up after that.
To’omua resumed the kicking duties to slot his fifth penalty goal for the first points of the second half to give his side a 12-point lead with less than nine minutes remaining.
Eventually, the Tahs ran out of steam – and heart.
The visitors clinched the points when Koroibete punched through the Waratahs’ defensive line, threw a dummy, and handed off Newsome before ending the game as a contest.
To’omua’s second conversion gave his side their biggest points total versus NSW in Sydney, and the win puts the Rebels level on points with the wayward Waratahs.
Final Score: Waratahs 10 (10) Rebels 29 (19)
Tries – Newsome
Pen – Harrison
Con – Harrison
Cards – Hooper (Yellow, 31′), Holloway (Yellow, 70′)
Tries – Louwrens, Koroibete
Pen – To’omua (5)
Con – To’omua (2)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Amy Perrett
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: Ian Smith
15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Jed Holloway, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Joe Cotton, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 23 Ben Donaldson
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr
Replacements: 16 Efitusi Ma’afu, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Michael Stolberg, 20 Esei Haangana, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Andrew Deegan