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Super Rugby | Melbourne
09:40 (GMT) | 13-05-2016
  • 81
Join us for more live commentary as Super Rugby continues tomorrow with a cracking line-up of games.
  • 80
Enever secures the line-out and Smiler puts it into touch to bring the game to an end.
  • 79
Brumbies handed a penalty and Lealiifano safely puts it into touch.
  • 78
Rebels handed a short-arm and they tap it quickly and Naivalu is in space but his chip ahead is into touch.
  • 77
Rebels have lost 20m and possession as the Brumbies turn it over but Pocock loses it forward and the Rebels have a scrum in their own half.
  • 75
Rebels awarded a penalty on the halfway and they have a sniff now as Debreczeni kicks for touch.
  • 74
Rebels win a line-out in their own half and they have to run it as time is ticking.
  • 71
Lealiifano misses from the corner... its not his best day with the boot.
  • 70
Lealiifano kicks for touch and the Brumbies set for the line-out 10m out. They secure the ball and are close to the line, playing under advantage. Jackson-Hope throws a great skip pass to Nigel Ah-Wong who trots over in the corner for the TRY.
  • 69
Rebels scrum now but the Brumbies win the penalty.
  • 67
Brumbies win the line-out and are attacking well making metres. Cubelli goes wide to Ruan Smith who puts his prop partner into the gap and Alaalatoa is straight through, he swerves off his left and is under the poles for the try. WAIT... play is brought back for a knock-on.
  • 65
Rebels run it back but Pocock is all over the breakdown for the penalty. Lealiifano clears for touch.
  • 64
Rebels with the pill on the Brumbies 10m. HArris makes a snipe and offloads... Matsushima sticks a grubber through but its too far and the Brumbies dot down for the 22m.
  • 62
Debreczeni has a crack at poles from halfway but tis just out to the left.
  • 61
Rebels use another set-move from the line-out but they knock-on but play is brought back for an offside infringement.
  • 60
Rebels win a penalty on their 22m and Debreczeni clears for touch.
  • 58
Debreczeni hooks the conversion attempt wide.
  • 57
Thompson claims the line-out and Rebels go wide from the set-piece... Harris is in space with the long ball and he puts Naivalu away for the try.
  • 55
After a kicking dual, the Rebels come away with the ball and have a line-out in Brumbies territory.
  • 52
Lealiifano misses from the corner.
  • 51
Moore finds Arnold in the line-out and Cubelli box kicks. but the Brumbies get the ball back as Smith makes a good break. Brumbies showing good hands now as the use offloads to keep continuity, Pocock takes it up and its quick ball for the Brumbies 10m out. They spread wide left and Smith puts a skip pass in to Fardy who is over in the corner!
  • 49
Brumbies defence is good but the Rebels still have the ball and Jones makes some direct metres, however play is stopped for a Rebel in touch.
  • 47
Taou puts a shocking touch finder in and the Rebels have a line-out on the Brumbies 22m.
  • 45
Debreczeni strokes it through the middle from the corner.
  • 44
Brumbies pinged for not pushing straight and the rebels opt for another scrum and they swing it wide but the Brumbies defence holds tight. Debreczeni moves the ball to the opposite wing and Hodge runs over for the TRY.
  • 43
Hanson comes away with the ball and makes 10 metres, the Rebels oh so close now but they come up short and have a 5 metre scrum
  • 42
Fardy guilty of falling off his feet and the Rebels have a penalty in which they kick for touch.
  • 41
Lealiifano gets the second-half underway.

Half Time

  • 40
Brumbies win the scrum and hack it out for half-time.
  • 39
Rebels have a penalty for offside right in the Brumbies 22m... decision time for the Rebels... they quick tap and knock-on... amateur hour their by the Rebels captain.
  • 37
Lealiifano takes a quick drop kick conversion but he misses... cheeky move as the TMO cant be called upon for the suspect forward pass now that the conversion attempt is complete.
  • 36
Dargaville collects and breaks the line... he passes to Lealiifano who is running at pace and he scores... TRY... suspect forward pass but its too late to disallow.
  • 34
Brumbies again on the offense in the Rebels 22m and have gone 12 phases. Cubellie moving the ball from right to left but the Rebels defence is strong. The Rebels turn it over and Naivalu kicks through.
  • 33
Lealiifano converts from an easy position.
  • 32
Brumbies win the line-out and make good metres from the set-piece. Aiden Taou now busting tackles. Cubelli has a dip but is caught just short. Rory Arnold picks and goes and stretches for the line....TRY!
  • 31
Rebels pinged at the scrum and Lealiifano kicks for touch.
  • 30
Debreczeni kicks on the Brumbies again and the away side attack from deep. Lealiifano is moveing the ball left and right but no momentum is gained. Play is brought to a halt in the middle of the park for a Brumbies scrum.
  • 28
Debreczeni kicks for touch and releases the pressue.
  • 27
Sio makes some good metres and so does Kuridrani. 10 phases now for the Brumbies and they are 10m out from the try-line. Cubelli goes wide and and Taou makes a half-break but Rebels win the penalty for holding on.
  • 25
Adam Thompson gives a penalty away in a maul and the Brumbies kick for territory. Moore secures the line-out and the Brumbies are 22m out now.
  • 23
Lealiifano misses again and the Rebels hold on to the lead.
  • 22
Ref Rohan Hoffman hands another penalty out and this time its against the Rebels for falling over in the ruck. Moore points to the poles.
  • 21
Debreczeni lines it up and strokes it through to re-claim the lead for the Rebels.
  • 20
Rebels with a line-out on the 22m which they secure through Jones. They go wide but the Brumbies backline is way offsides and its an easy 3 for the Rebels.
  • 18
Rebels win the ball form kick-off and are right up on the Brumbies 22m.
  • 17
Lealiifano curls it from the corner but it hits the post.
  • 16
Moore throws and finds his jumper, they form the maul and drive over. Pocock with the try!
  • 15
Rebels with a scrum in their own half... but a penalty is given to the Brumbies for collapsing. Lealiifano goes for touch and finds the corner.
  • 11
Debreczeni converts this time for the 2 points.
  • 10
Rebels attack from the 22 drop out and Harris makes a break and passes well. Rebels right back in the 22m and the swing left, Debreczeni shows and goes and beats the fullback with an inside ball to Crawford who is over!
  • 8
Rebels hit back straight from the kick-off and win a penalty for holding on. Debreczeni shanks left though and the Brumbies remain in front.
  • 6
24 phases and a penalty to the Brumbies. Lealiifano takes a shot and its over.
  • 5
17th phase for the Brumbies now... still on the 22m.
  • 4
Brumbies attack now and Dargeville makes a line-break, offloading to Pocock and the Brumbies are on the Rebels 22m. Rebels defence looking organised now as Fardy takes it up the right flank.
  • 2
Rebels with the ball in midfield as they build the phases. 7 phases in midfield then Fardy gets his hands on the ball, penalty Brumbies and Lealiifano clears for touch.
  • 0
KICK-OFF: Rebels flyhalf Jack Debreczeni gets the game underway.
  • -5
David Pocock is back into the starting line-up for the Brumbies and that is huge for the Canberra-based outfit. The Rebels also have the experienced Mike Harris back at fullback and he has an educated boot that poses a threat to the Brumbies.
  • -15
There is plenty on the line here in Melbourne - the Rebels can move top of the Aussie conference with a win or the Brumbies can extend their lead. The Australian teams basically have to fight it out for the top of the conference playoff birth because the NZ teams currently own all the wild card spots... making this game a critical one for both teams.
  • -30
Good Day and welcome to live commentary for our second Super Rugby game of the weekend - the Rebels taking on the Brumbies.
Mc rebels logo 80x50
Mc brumbies logo 80x50
  • 1 Toby Smith
  • 2 James Hanson
  • 3 Jamie Hagan
  • 4 Luke Jones
  • 5 Lopeti Timani
  • 6 Colby Faingaa
  • 7 Sean McMahon
  • 8 Adam Thomson
  • 9 Nic Stirzaker
  • 10 Jack Debreczeni
  • 11 Cam Crawford
  • 12 Reece Hodge
  • 13 Tamati Ellison
  • 14 Sefanaia Naivalu
  • 15 Mike Harris
  • 16 Pat Leafa
  • 17 Cruze Ah-Nau
  • 18 Tim Metcher
  • 19 Sam Jeffries
  • 20 Jordy Reid
  • 21 Ben Meehan
  • 22 Tom English
  • 23 Kotaro Matsushima
  • 1 Scott Sio
  • 2 Stephen Moore
  • 3 Ben Alexander
  • 4 Rory Arnold
  • 5 Sam Carter
  • 6 Scott Fardy
  • 7 David Pocock
  • 8 Jarrad Butler
  • 9 Tomas Cubelli
  • 10 Christian Lealiifano
  • 11 Lausii Taliaul
  • 12 James Dargaville
  • 13 Tevita Kuridrani
  • 14 Nigel Ah Wong
  • 15 Aidan Toua
  • 16 Josh Mann-Rae
  • 17 Allan Alaalatoa
  • 18 Ruan Smith
  • 19 Tom Staniforth
  • 20 Blake Enever
  • 21 Jordan Smiler
  • 22 Joe Powell
  • 23 Jordan Jackson-Hope
Mc article jamie joseph highlanders scrum 800


Wed, 11 May 2016 22:27

IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Jan de Koning looks at the Friday matches in Part One of Super Rugby's Round 12.

There is no denying it is one of the most important rounds of the season.

With just three weeks to go to the June break and a log-jam of teams queuing  up behind the pace-setting Crusaders, victories are becoming more vital with each passing round.

None more so than when the defending champion Highlanders, just five points behind the table-topping Crusaders, host the tournament's leading team.

This South Island derby, between the Highlanders and Crusaders, always have some additional spice.

Their respective positions on the standings mean Friday's encounter will have the hype and intensity of a Test match.

And the other Friday match, across the Tasman Sea in Australia, has the same storyline - the Rebels, two points behind, hosting the Aussie conference leaders, the Brumbies.

Strap yourself in, it is going to be a wild ride.

We look at the Friday, May 13, matches below!

The Highlanders showed last week - in beating the Chiefs in Hamilton - that they are not a spent force.

They may have gone through a bit of a slump, but they still have all the qualities that made them champions in 2015.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder admitted that this could be one of the toughest games of the season.

"There is nothing like a classic Southern Derby to bring out the best in both the Crusaders and the Highlanders," Blackadder said in an interview on

"It is always a great game with an amazing atmosphere and with both teams playing well and hungry for the win there is sure to be plenty of passion on the field on Friday."

The Crusaders have won eight in a row and sit top of the table, but the Highlanders are in a confident frame of mind after last week's win.

Highlanders assistant coach Scott McLeod in an interview in the Otago Daily Times spoke of the "polished" look the Crusaders have, adding that defence will be key.

"They have got a roll-on," McLeod said, adding: "Their set piece is really humming and they are able to play the game at speed, stretch the opposition, and run teams around.

"They play an offloading game that gives everyone an opportunity.

"We just have to play our game, just getting to the level we want to.

"We are just after a good performance each week.

"I know it is cliche but that is what we are after. We just want to put on a good performance.''

Crusaders assistant coach Tabai Matson felt the key will be who produces the best "team effort", although individuals could produce the magical moments that can spark either side.

"It is going to be a tough match against the Highlanders, because in their win over the Chiefs in Hamilton [last week] they looked to be back to their abrasive best,"Matson told

"I think so many [elements] of what the Highlanders bring to the game absolutely pushes us.

"So for us it is going to be a massive challenge to contain parts of the game that are really hard to contain. And part of that will be the match-ups, the one on ones created on the edge," he said.

Recent results:
2015: Highlanders won 25-20, Christchurch
2015: Crusaders won 26-20, Dunedin
2014: Crusaders won 34-8, Christchurch
2014: Crusaders won 32-30, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 40-12, Dunedin
2013: Crusaders won 24-8, Christchurch

Prediction: The Crusaders have won six of the last seven meetings between the sides. However, the Highlanders won the most recent meeting between the two in Round Nine last season. The Crusaders have won seven of their last nine away to the Highlanders, including each of the last three. Only the Kings have had less possession than the Highlanders this season (13 minutes, 40 seconds) with the Dunedin side putting boot to ball more often than anyone else (27.8 times per game). The Crusaders have a first half points differential of +96 so far this season, the best of any side and more than twice as good as the Highlanders (+45). Jone Macilai-Tori was the leading metre maker in Round 11, notching up 121 metres over the gainline for the Crusaders. Tough to call, especially given the importance of the match. It is not a bad bet to go with the home team - the Highlanders by five points or less.


Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Teihorangi Walden.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 David Havili, 11 Jone Macilai, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Mike Alaalatoa, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Tim Boys, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Marty McKenzie.

Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Kane McBride
TMO: Aaron Paterson

The Rebels may have dropped off the top of the standings, but they are still well and truly in the play-off race.

It is a position that will give them additional motivation when they play host in a domestic derby that has produced a few upsets.

The Brumbies regained the lead in the Aussie conference with their win over the Bulls last week, but just two points separating the top three Australian sides.

"We'll be calling on all our experience on Friday against the Brumbies," Rebels coach Tony McGahan said.

"It's exciting for the franchise to still be in the conversation [play-off race] at this point of the season, but we're under no illusion about the importance of this game so we need to back ourselves and our abilities for this opportunity."

Coming off the bye, the Rebels will look to draw on their recent success against their fellow countrymen, having won each of their last three matches against Australian teams.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham felt, despite last week's win, his team still made far too many costly errors.

Speaking to the Canberra Times, Larkham said they must "push the boundaries in attack" to ensure they stay ahead of the chasing pack in the Aussie conference.

Tevita Kuridrani may well be the player to spark that "expansive" game Larkham is searching for.

"I think Tevita has started the season really well, but for a number of reasons the play just hasn't gone his way," Larkham said.

"He's made a couple of mistakes, but he's been very consistent this year and over the last couple of rounds we've seen him start to play his best football.

"He's starting to get his hands on the ball a little bit more and in the new attacking shape we've been playing we've had an adjustment in trying to find touches for Tevita.

"We're finding better ways to get him into the game. Defensively he's doing a superb job and connecting really well with the other backs around him."

Recent results:
2015: Rebels won 13-8, Canberra
2015: Brumbies won 20-15, Melbourne
2014: Brumbies won 37-10, Canberra
2014: Rebels won 32-24, Melbourne
2013: Brumbies won 39-17, Canberra
2013: Brumbies won 30-13, Melbourne

Prediction: The Rebels won the last meeting between these two sides and are aiming for back-to-back wins against the Brumbies for the first time in Super Rugby. However, the Brumbies have won seven of the 10 meetings between the two in Super Rugby, including three of the five clashes between the sides in Melbourne. The Brumbies have won their last three away to Australian sides, their best run away to opposition in their conference since winning four in a row across the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Joseph Tomane has made five more clean breaks than any other player this season (23), averaging 2.9 per game so far. The  Rebels' goal  kicking  success  rate  sits  at  just  64%  so  far,  the lowest  of any side in the competition this season. The Brumbies will edge a real Aussie arm-wrestle - by eight points.


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Cam Crawford, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Tom English, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Will Houston, Michale Hogan
TMO: Ian Smith

Compiled by Jan de Koning

* Statistical information provided by Opta Sports

Mc article david pocock brumbies v rebels 800

Brumbies win Melbourne arm-wrestle

Fri, 13 May 2016 11:55

REPORT: The Brumbies cemented their place at the top of the Australian conference with a 30-22 in over the Rebels in a bruising encounter in Melbourne on Friday.

The Brumbies outscored their compatriots by five tries to three, to record a crucial win - as the June break draws ever nearer - a win that allowed the Brumbies to open a four-point lead over the Waratahs at the top of the conference.

The Brumbies proved more clinical in their execution than the Rebels, whose poor handling and conceding penalties cost them chances to put the Canberra-based side under more pressure.

The Rebels led 10-8 up until the 32nd minute, but the Brumbies went in at half-time ahead 20-10 and despite being pulled back to 25-22 midway through the second half clinched the game with a try by replacement wing Nigel Ah Wong with eight minutes remaining.

Only wayward goalkicking from Christian Lealiifano - with just two successes out of seven attempts - cost the Brumbies a bigger win over their Australian rivals.

The Brumbies scored tries through David Pocock, Rory Arnold, Christian Lealiifano, Scott Fardy and Ah Wong with Lealiifano landing a conversion and a penalty.

The Rebels looked promising at times and breached the Brumbies defence for three tries from Cam Crawford, Reece Hodge and Sefanaia Naivalu.

Jack Debreczeni landed two conversions and a penalty.

"We are very happy with the performance," Brumbies skipper Stephen Moore said.

"We knew it would be a tough game down here for us and the way the ladder was it was a very important game for us.

"The bench [replacements] came on and made a big difference for us in the second half."

The Rebels captain Nic Stirzaker said his team's ill-discipline cost them against the Brumbies.

"Our discipline really let us down and we let them into the game with easy penalties to get out of their half and they are really strong at the set-piece. They hurt us off the mauls," Stirzaker said.

The Brumbies have next week off while the Rebels travel to New Zealand to take on one of the tournament's leading teams the Chiefs.

Man of the match: Colby Fainga'a made a huge impact for the Rebels, even showing up David Pocock - who himself had a good game. Scott Fardy, as usual, got through a mountain of work. However, our award goes to the Brumbies South African prop Ruan Smith - who made a massive impact after coming on as a second-half replacement.

The scorers:

For the Rebels:
Crawford, Hodge, Naivalu
Cons: Debreczeni 2
Pen: Debreczeni

For the Brumbies:
Pocock, Arnold, Lealiifano, Fardy, Ah Wong
Con:  Lealiifano
Pen:  Lealiifano


Melbourne Rebels: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Cam Crawford, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Sean McMahon, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 James Hanson, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Sam Jeffries, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Tom English, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.

Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Christian Lealiifano (co-captain), 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (co-captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Blake Enever, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Lausii Taliauli.

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant referees: Will Houston, Michale Hogan
TMO: Ian Smith

Cam Crawford (10min), Reece Hodge (44min), and Sefanaia Naivalu (57min)
David Pocock (16min), Rory Arnold (32min), Christian Lealiifano (36min), Scott Fardy (51min), and Nigel Ah Wong (70min)
Jack Debreczeni (11min) and Jack Debreczeni (45min)
Christian Lealiifano (33min)
Jack Debreczeni (21min)
Christian Lealiifano (6min)
VENUE Melbourne
REFEREE Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)