The Rebels have won two matches in a row, beating the Waratahs for the first time in their history.
Behind 13 – 16 at half time, the Rebels produced a magical second half to win the match 24 – 22. A late try by Tom English sealing the victory for the Melbourne based team.
Tom English scored a double, his first tries in Super Rugby, to sink the wobbly Waratahs. The Waratahs lacked the punch we have come to see from them lately, and the loss all but ends their chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
It was a fast start by the Rebels, English scoring early on and Jason Woodward adding a penalty to his conversion for an early ten point lead. Israel Folau scored his eighth try of the season in hitting back, the Waratahs relying on the boot of Berrick Barnes to overturn the deficit and lead at half time.
Barnes left the field with an injury, leaving the Waratahs somewhat rattles, and the Rebels pounced to take a rare consecutive victory. Woodward kept the Rebels in touch, drawing level with his penalties. Brendan McKibbin took over the kicking duties and put the Waratahs in the lead by three, but the late try by English, which wasn’t converted, gave the Rebels a two point lead with less than five minutes to play. McKibbin could not slot a last minute penalty to win the game for the Waratahs.
It was an entertaining match, neither team taking full control of the match at any point. The Waratahs will be kicking themselves for slipping up against the Rebels, especially after their comeback in the latter part of the season so far.
Both these teams play away next weekend, the Waratahs going to New Zealand to face the Crusaders, the Rebels staying in Australia to face the Reds.
Rebels: 24 (13)
Tries: Tom English (2)
Conversions: Jason Woodward (1)
Penalties: Jason Woodward (3)
Waratahs: 22 (16)
Tries: Israel Folau
Conversions: Berrick Barnes (1)
Penalties: Berrick Barnes (4), Brendan McKibbin (1)
By Richard Ferguson