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White hot Waratahs repel Rebels’ force

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The Waratahs came from 17 points down to run away 51-27 victors on a scorching day at Allianz Stadium, Sydney.

The Waratahs were scintillating in the Sydney-summer sun.

The home team scored six tries, five in the second-half, as they thrashed the Melbourne Rebels.

This was the first time since 2016 that the Waratahs have won back-to-back games at home.

It was the first loss of the season for the Melbourne Rebels, who lost their composure after an assured first-half.

A 15-minute four-try blitz at the start of second-half saw New South Wales overcome the 17-point deficit and take a 21-point lead.

Bernard Foley missed his first kick of the season, but still had a match-haul of 21 points from the tee.

The Rebels had raced to a 3-20 lead after tries by Tom English, Amanaki Mafi and Jack Maddocks.

The Waratahs had only scored five first-half tries in their last six games, failing to find the whitewash in the opening stanza twice in that time.

It was not until the 39th-minute that they crossed the goal-line when Lalakai Foketi scored a minute before the break.

Curtley Beale broke the line, played the supporting Damien Fitzpatrick, who drew his man and offloaded to Foketi.

They struck again with Rob Simmons, five minutes after the restart, reducing the deficit to three points.

Izzy Folau’s high take and offload to Michael Hooper started the flowing move.

Hegarty broke the line, played Fitzpatrick, who popped to Simmons on his shoulder for the score.

Mitch Short put the home side in front after some wonderful work at the ruck by Hooper and Fitzpatrick.

The ball was sent wide to Curtis Rona, who stepped inside and popped to Short.

The scrumhalf crossed the whitewash with nobody to stop him.

Double Blow.

Two more tries by Bryce Hegarty and Taqele Naiyaravoro killed the game as a contest.

Michael Wells broke two tackles, Beale played Hegarty on the touchline, and the fullback was in for his team’s fourth.

Naiyaravoro scored two minutes’ later after some wonderful handling and offloading by the Tahs.

Matt Philip crossed with 15 minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late for the Melbourne side.

Naiyaravoro scored with seconds remaining as the Waratahs brought up their fifty.

Final score: Waratahs 51 (10) Rebels 27 (20)

Scorers

Waratahs
Tries – Foketi, Simmons, Short, Hegarty, Naiyaravoro (2)
Pen – Foley (3)
Con – Foley (6)
Drop –
Cards –

Rebels
Tries – English, Mafi, Maddocks, Philip
Pen – Hodge
Con – Hodge (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Brendan Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore

Teams

Waratahs

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Michael Wells, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.

Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Alex Newsome, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Rebels

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Will Genia, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Ross Haylett-Petty, 6 Lopeti Timani, 5 Adam Coleman (captain), 4 Matt Philip, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.

Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Colby Fainga’a, 20 Richard Hardwick, 21 Michael Ruru, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Sefa Naivalu.

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