REBELS 24 – 22 HURRICANES
The Melbourne Rebels held the Hurricanes scoreless for the last 34 minutes to register a tight 24-22 victory in their Super Rugby trial match at Simonds Stadium in Geelong on Saturday night.
Winger Lachlan Mitchell helped ensure the Rebels claimed victory with a bone-rattling tackle on Hurricanes centre Tim Bateman in the 79th minute, which forced a turnover.
The home side had gone ahead for the final time in the 72nd minute when Bryce Hegarty landed a long-range penalty goal.
The Rebels also got their first look at star New Zealand recruit Tamati Ellison, who did a couple of impressive things after entering the fray midway through the second half.
The former All Blacks centre had only arrived in Victoria a few days ago after completing his club commitments in Japan.
The Rebels opened the scoring with a second-minute penalty goal to impressive fullback Jason Woodward on a hot, still night.
But it was the visitors who had the best of the next 20 minutes, getting out to a 12-3 lead on the back of tries to fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder and flanker Ardie Savea.
Second-rower Hugh Pyle got the Rebels back into the contest in the 23rd minute, barging over from close range for their first try of the night.
Seven minutes later, Colby Fainga’a also scored after Pyle had been heavily involved in the build-up.
The home side were able to take a narrow 18-15 lead into the interval after Woodward potted a long-range penalty goal after the halftime siren.
The Hurricanes snatched the lead back early in the second half with a converted try to centre Matt Proctor in the 46th minute, but that was to be their last score of the game.
The Rebels are now two-from-two in the pre-season, having beaten the Waratahs 33-28 last weekend in Albury.
Tries: Hugh Pyle, Colby Fainga’a Conversions: Jason Woodward (1) Penalties: Jason Woodward (3) Bryce Hegarty (1)
Tries: Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ardie Savea, Matt Proctor Conversions: Marty Banks (2) Penalties: Beauden Barrett (1)