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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Melbourne Rebels comeback upsets the Hurricanes

Melbourne Rebels comeback upsets the Hurricanes

The Melbourne Rebels pulled off their second big upset in their short Super Rugby history, as they produced a stirring comeback to beat the Hurricanes 42-25 in front of their home crowd on Saturday.

Trailing 17-0 after just 18 minutes, it looked as though it would be a repeat of Round 5s hiding as the Rebels struggled to get to grips with the powerful Wellington side, who had a whole host of All Blacks in their armoury.

They eventually got into the game though with a try to Rodney Rodzilla Blake, and from then on the comeback was sparked as they played some fantastic rugby, with Stirling Mortlock having his best game of the season, and foreign imports Gareth Delve, Michael Lipman, and Danny Cipriani all playing their part.

Scrumhalf Nick Phipps was also a stand-out, and by the time he scored late in the match, it was all over for the visiting Canes, who simply couldnt deal with the continuity and free flowing style of the Melbourne newcomers.

Coach Rod Macqueen was impressed by his sides six tries, but realises that consistency is needed if they are to become a real factor in this tournament.

"That's what we're striving to do, we just need to do more of it. Next week we've got to front up again. It's a very tough competition," he said

"The reality is that everything's new to this side, everyone's coming together for the first time and to an extent, everything's a bit of an experiment. The biggest thing is getting a group of players together that haven't played with each other before and then each week it changes again because of injuries."

The Rebels travel to Perth in Round 7 to face the Western Force for an all Aussie derby.

Time: 05:57

Posted by Rugbydump at 5:16 pm | View Comments (28)

Viewing 28 comments

Anonymous March 29, 2011 4:30 pm


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NateBear March 29, 2011 4:31 pm

^ good contribution!

To be honest, after the rebels first game I thought they were going to easily beaten every game!

Glad I'm wrong!

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Jej March 29, 2011 4:36 pm

Cipriani doing very well it seems.
So gutted that Sky Sports GB&I arent doing the Super 14 Show anymore, used to make my Sunday mornings! Power to the Rebels, theyve settled much quicker than the Force did

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 5:06 pm

Wow... do all SH players have a sick sidestep? Even the hooker stepped at one point...

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 5:12 pm


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Anonymous March 29, 2011 5:19 pm

@Jej yeah really annoying, sky's coverage has been lame this year. Too much boring Guinness not enough Super rugby!

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NateBear March 29, 2011 6:27 pm

"Anonymous said...
@Jej yeah really annoying, sky's coverage has been lame this year. Too much boring Guinness not enough Super rugby!"

Keep up with the times! It's the Aviva!

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I hate ppl who write March 29, 2011 6:32 pm

Fair play to Mortlock, one of the all-time greats!

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Juggernauter March 29, 2011 7:27 pm

That Cooper Vuna lad seems like a fine player... And next week against the Force we'll see which one of the "new" australian conferences can punch above their weight!

The Rebels are looking good now, and Cpriani's there for his redemption!

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Eif March 29, 2011 9:26 pm

The Rebels are on fire! From the few games I've seen they've reacted really well to set backs and are showing some real class.
Does anyone know how Delve is doing?
Must be doing something right for the Rebels to be going forward. I'd personally love to see him included in the Welsh squad for the World Cup. Seems like the first time in years that he's having a decent run of games.

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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh March 29, 2011 9:26 pm

Fair play, the Hurricanes took a tuning. Nice to see Danny Cipriani looking like he might fulfill his potential after all. When he started he looked like the new Carlos Spencer, then he started turning into the new Gavin Henson, now it looks like Carlos is making a comeback.

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Anonymous March 29, 2011 9:53 pm

@elf Delve is on fire, and one of the best each week.

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Jono March 29, 2011 10:12 pm

Lipman too is playing very well.

The real stand outs are Vuna, Mortlock, Phipps, Saffy and Lipman.

But both Delve and Cipriani are playing well.
The only problem is they keep having periodic bad games (the whole team) and getting spanked away from home.

In Melbourne though, they are starting to play some really good stuff.

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John F March 29, 2011 11:10 pm

The Rebels seem to have been a great addition to Super Rugby. Playing with a lot of freedom despite a couple of thrashings and they've got a really interesting group of players there.

As for Cipriani, a lot of stuff was written about things that have nothing to do with rugby, always a bit boring. Now he's playing in a competition that should suit him but in which his mistakes will also be ruthlessly punished. Perfect environment in which to improve. What luck to have a centre of Mortlock's quality outside him. Great offload to Lipman for the try.

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Wolfman March 30, 2011 12:57 am

Delve is playing really well - I have been very impressed by him. He is strong on his feet and has adapted to the quicker pace, and open style of play.

It helps that the whole Rebels backrow is performing - Lipman is a really classy player, and Saffy is also doing well - he has made the most tackles in the competition, and is learning how to play at the rucks. Him and Lipman look exactly the same on the field, causing a fair amount of confusion.

Cipriani is playing very well, he is just terrible on defense - his effort on the Hurricanes lock for one of their tries was shocking. He is kicking a lot, but kicking well, and also releasing the backs when needed.

Vuna is a typical league wing - strong, big and fast, but has been shocking on defense, missing plenty of tackles. He must be an outside bet for the Wallaby squad, as he will bring his bulk to the midget Wallaby backline.

The Rebels have been able to settle as they were allowed up to 10 foreigners, were able to get League players, and were able to get a number of experiences professionals. The Force did have excellent talent scouts (Pocock, McCalman, O'Connor). The Force also had John Mitchell who isn't half as good as the coach at the Rebels.

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Jono March 30, 2011 5:56 am

Yeah, they recruited fairly well, considering there were very few available top Aussie players willing to go to Melbourne.
Mortlock has really been a good captain for them, leading by example.
Saffy and Lipman have been defensive machines and Vuna's attacking threat is starting to show.
Cipriani does need to work on defence, but his kicking is excellent.

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I Notist March 30, 2011 12:46 pm

@4.04 the commentator's yelling "all offside" and the ref's yelling "just a tackle, all onside" .. I'm not having a go at anyone, just saying.

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I Notist then March 30, 2011 1:02 pm

My apologies. I had another listen and the ref actually says "Just a tackle, no offside, play on".

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GTI March 30, 2011 1:27 pm

this vuna seems to be a great guy.
any chance we will see him playing for tonga at the wc?

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Zavala March 30, 2011 1:30 pm

I find it funny that you refer to a Perth vs Melbourne game as a derby. It's about 1,700 miles from one city to the other. About the same distance from London to Ankara, capital of Turkey.

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Phil March 30, 2011 7:48 pm

^^^ very funny observation! The globalisation of sport I suppose.

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Jono March 30, 2011 10:21 pm

It's just Australia, it's a country/continent.
Distances like that are no big deal for Aussies, it's just par for the course.

Vuna won't play for Tonga, he wants to play for Australia, and if he improves his defence a bit, he may well get a spot.
He's lived in Australia most of his life.

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Jono March 30, 2011 10:22 pm

Actually, correction, I think he grew up as a young kid in NZ, then came to Aus when he was a teenager.

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Joseph March 31, 2011 2:34 am

Vuna was born & bred in NZ where he played Rugby League for the NZ Warriors.

It wasn't till 2007 i think that he moved to Australia to play League for the Knights.

He also represented Tonga at the Rugby League WC 2008.

Last year the Knights failed to offer him another deal so he switched to Rugby Union and signed with the Rebels.

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Anonymous March 31, 2011 2:57 am


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Nick March 31, 2011 12:50 pm

Well done to Lipman for that try, he got smashed but managed to hang on and score. Whatever they're doing to Cipriani down there must be working, I think I even saw him tackle someone. It's a trasnformation on the way he was playing at Wasps.

Glad to hear that Delve is doing well, he was one of the standout players at Gloucester and I never understood how he kept missing out on the Welsh squad. Vuna is looking impressive too.

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Jono March 31, 2011 10:39 pm

My mistake Joseph.

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Anonymous April 01, 2011 1:32 am

what is going on with the hurricanes???

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