Super Rugby

Waratahs condemn winless Rebels to another defeat




NSW Waratahs beat the Melbourne Rebels 24-19 in a scrappy Australian Super Rugby Pacific derby at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney.

The Waratahs outscored the Melbourne Rebels three tries to one to record back-to-back Super Rugby wins for the first time since August 2020.

You had to go back 582 days for the last back-to-back Tahs’ victories, which is incredible for a franchise of NSW calibre.

Conversely, another defeat for Kevin Foote’s charges means the Rebels have now lost their previous 10 Super Rugby matches on the trot – a dismal record.

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Lalakai Foketi, Will Harris, and Alex Newsome all crossed for Darren Coleman’s side to claim the hard-fought win.

Will Harrison kicked a penalty and all three conversions (9 pts), as well as setting up Newsome’s try with some slick handling.

Matt To’omua hit four penalties (12 pts) to keep his side in the contest, but the lack of any cutting edge proved dear.

Cabous Eloff dotted down for the Melbourne Rebels’ only five-pointer after a blunt attacking display on the Australian east coast.

Two converted tries saw the Waratahs lead 14-6 at halftime at the famous old ground

To’omua opened the scoring after a previous miss, but Dave Porecki was held up minutes later to signal NSW intent.

Foketi and Harris scored within six minutes to make it 14-3 early in the second quarter.

Foketi burst through Carter Gordon – on for To’omua – before fending off Joe Powell, then slipping Reece Hodge’s last-ditch effort to record his fifth Super Rugby try.

On 21 minutes, Harris powered down the righthand touchline and carried three defenders over the chalk to notch his sixth Super Rugby try.

Harrison knocked over both conversions.

Hodge missed a long-range shot, but To’omua pulled three back on 31 minutes.

There would be no more scoring until after the interval.

To’omua keeps Rebels in the hunt, but lack of try-scoring ability sees Waratahs hold out for the win

To’omua and Harrison exchanged three penalties in 13 minutes to make it 17-12 after the restart.

Efi Ma’afu was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Izaia Perese a minute later.

The hooker’s ill-discipline undid all the good work Melbourne had done to stay in touching distance.

New South Wales kicked to the corner. From the resulting lineout, and thanks to some slick hands from Harrison and fancy feet by Newsome, increased their advantage.

It was Newsome’s 20th Super Rugby try after some smart work by Harrison, who got smoked by Andrew Kellaway as he sent a quick pass to Newsome.

The 27-year-old winger swerved Hodge before sliding over underneath Carter Gordon’s tackle.

Harrison again converted to make it 24-12 going into the final quarter.

Ma’afu’s sin-binning only cost seven points. Instead, it was the visitors who began to cause problems as they increased the pace and tempo.

With less than 13 minutes remaining, Eloff crashed over to give the Victorians some hope of an – unlikely – comeback.

Gordon converted to make it a one-score game, but it was not enough.

Despite a late surge, the Tahs controlled the clock expertly, slowing down at the scrums, and keeping possession in the tight phases as they saw out the win.

Final Score: Waratahs 24 (14) Rebels 19 (6)


Tries – Foketi, Harris, Newsome
Pen – Harrison
Con – Harrison (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Eloff
Pen – To’omua (4)
Con – Gordon
Drop –
Cards – Ma’afu (Yellow, 54′)

Match Officials
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie



15 Will Harrison, 14 Dylan Pietsch, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Alex Newsome, 20 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jack Grant, 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Geoff Cridge, 4 Jed Holloway (captain), 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

16 Tom Horton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Langi Gleeson, 20 Carlo Tizzano, 21 Teddy Wilson, 22 Jamie Roberts, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase

Melbourne Rebels

15 Reece Hodge, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Young Tonumaipea, 12 Raymond Nu’u, 11 Glen Vaihu, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Tamati Ioane-Niko, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells (captain), 5 Josh Canham, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr

16 Efi Ma’afu, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Rhys van Nek, 19 Brad Wilkin, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Carter Gordon, 23 Stacey Ili

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