Planet Rugby

Rebels put Cheetahs to the sword

28th February 2014 10:33

Share:

Luke Burgess Rebels v Cheetahs SR 2014

Try-scorer: Luke Burgess

The Rebels made a fine start to their Super Rugby campaign when they claimed a 35-14 victory over the Cheetahs in Melbourne on Friday.

The hosts started brightly and showed their intent from the outset by running the ball from deep inside their half. Their adventurous style was rewarded as early as the fifth minute when Lachlan Mitchell rounded off a superb team try.

This after the hosts' forwards and backs combined brilliantly in the build-up, from deep inside their half, before Luke Burgess spun the ball wide inside the Cheetahs' 22.

There was still work to be done, however, and Bryce Hegarty and Mitch Inman did well to draw in a couple of defenders before Inman offloaded to Mitchell who scored in the right-hand corner.

Jason Woodward failed with the conversion and also missed a kickable penalty five minutes later. The Cheetahs got their first genuine points-scoring opportunity shortly afterwards but Johan Goosen also failed with his shot from the kicking tee.

The Rebels doubled their lead in the 22nd minute thanks to enterprising play from their captain Scott Higginbotham. The Wallaby back row opted to play quickly, after the Rebels were awarded a penalty right in front of the posts, and delivered a perfectly-weighted cross-kick which Woodward gathered inside the visitors' in-goal area before dotting down.

Both sides continued attacking during the rest of the half but the poor-goal kicking continued as Goosen missed another shot at goal, two minutes before half-time, after the Rebels' backs were penalised for straying offside.

That miss proved costly as the Rebels struck back with their third try shortly before half-time. Burgess, playing his first Super Rugby match since a stint in France, got his name onto the scoreheet when he broke around the fringe of a ruck, close to the Cheetahs' try-line, after Sean McMahon - who was superb throughout - laid the groundwork with a bullocking run which caught the Cheetahs defenders napping.

After their lethargic first half display the visitors showed greater urgency after half-time. They took the game to the Rebels and were rewarded, five minutes after the break, when Jean Cook scored from the back of a driving maul after a line-out 15 metres from the Rebels' try-line.

Goosen added the extras, and with 35 minutes left the Cheetahs had their tails up. The Rebels did not retreat into their shells, however, and continued to attack.

The homeside suffered a setback in the 52nd minute when Scott Fuglistaller was sent to the sin bin for punching Jean Cook at a scrum.

But despite their numerical disadvantage, they extended their lead when Bryce Hegarty scored their bonus-point try under the posts, after running onto a pass from Tamati Ellison, who set up the score with a clinical line break.

Hegarty dusted himself off to add the conversion but despite trailing by 17 points, the Cheetahs continued in their bid to salvage something from the game.

They struck back with another converted try from a driving maul in the 70th minute. This time Ryno Barnes was the man who got up with the ball, under a pile of bodies, but the Rebels sealed the win with a drop goal from just outside the visitors' 22 by Angus Roberts, in the 77th minute.

Roberts added a penalty shortly before full-time and Higginbotham put the final nail in the Cheetahs coffin when he scored the Rebels' fifth try, in the right-hand corner in injury time, after they launched a counter attack from deep inside their half.

The scorers:

For Rebels:
Tries: Mitchell, Woodward, Burgess, Hegarty, Higginbotham
Cons: Hegarty 2
Pen: Roberts
Drop goal: Roberts
Yellow card: Fuglistaller (52 mins - punching)

For Cheetahs:
Tries: Cook, Barnes
Con: Goosen 2

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Tom Kingston.

Cheetahs: 15 Willem le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Nicolaas van Dyk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Hennie Daniller.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matt O'Brien (Australia), Michael Hogan (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39