VIDEO: Stormers smash Rebels in Melbourne
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Stormers ended their Australasian tour with a valuable 41-24 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday.
The Cape side, who were without several Springboks, outscored their opponents by five tries to three on their way to victory.
Heading into the AAMI Park match the Rebels’ only losses of the season had come in their two games in South Africa and the Stormers continued that hoodoo.
It was a game where little went right for the Australian conference leaders, although the men from Cape Town, who had lost their last three matches, deserved plenty of credit.
In a first half to forget Melbourne had 70 percent of possession and 75 percent territory and forced the visitors to make 83 tackles to their own 27 – yet trailed 3-10 at the break.
Late in the half they racked up 15 phases, hammering the tryline, until centre Bill Meakes was unable to reel in a loose pass with the Stormers’ steely defence standing up.
Teenage wing Semisi Tupuo, filling in for injured Wallaby Jack Maddocks, mostly had a night to forget.
The Australian Under-20s representative was gifted a perfectly weighted Quade Cooper cross-field kick into the in-goal but spilt it and later knocked on as he was charging downfield.
But he wasn’t alone with the Rebels uncharacteristically sloppy against the bottom-placed South African side.
Cooper himself knocked on a kick from Stormers flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis midway through the second half which was scooped up by centre Ruhan Nel to score their fourth try of the night.
It looked as if Melbourne coach Dave Wessels’ half-time blast had worked when two minutes into second half, Reece Hodge intercepted a long, looping pass by Du Plessis to score.
Cooper added the extras to level at 10-10 but it was all downhill from there.
The Stormers piled on three tries in 11 minutes with Juarno Agustus, Springboks centre Damian de Allende and then Nel all scoring.
The Rebels added two tries through scrumhalf Will Genia and reserve back Campbell Magnay, but the Stormers had the final say with Nel adding his second of the night just before full-time.
Man of the match: Captain for the day Steven Kitshoff was powerful up front and there were a number of youngsters who stood out in the pack. However, the award goes to Dillyn Leyds who was outstanding out wide. He scored his team’s first try and had a hand in two others as well.
For Melbourne Rebels:
Tries: Hodge, Genia, Magnay
Cons: Cooper 3
Tries: Leyds, Augustus, De Allende, Nel 2
Cons: Du Plessis 2, Stander 3
Pens: Du Plessis, Stander
LIVE: Rebels v Stormers
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Rebels: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Semisi Tupou, 134 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Angus Cottrell (captain), 6 Luke Jones, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tetera Faulkner.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Campbell Magnay.
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Ernst van Rhyn (Stormers debut), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Josh Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)
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