Rebels hit hard by Hurricanes

Super Rugby
by staff

The Melbourne Rebels have gone down to the Hurricanes 31-10 in an exhibition game at Harlequins Oval on Thursday night.

Wes Goosen crossed for a double as the Hurricanes outscored the Rebels five tries to two after half-time in wet and wintery conditions.

With torrential rain teeming down from kick-off, the the first half was a soggy battle of gritty defence as both sides turned down opportunities to kick for points, instead opting to go for tries.

Momentum see-sawed in the opening stanza with both the Rebels and Hurricanes threatening to break the deadlock but the slippery conditions made handling a challenge.

Both sides strung together phases deep in opposition territory late in the first half but failed to convert possession into points and the match went into half-time deadlocked 0-0.

In the second-half though it didn’t take long for the duck to be broken when Goosen dashed 70 metres to score under the posts, putting the Hurricanes ahead 7-0 after plucking an intercept from a Rebels quick tap.

The Rebels responded less than a minute later when Tom English crossed in the corner to cut the margin to two points.English Rebels TryBut then Goosen crossed for his second try of the game after James O’Reilly broke through the defensive line before a ball over the top found the winger loose on the left touchline to score in the corner.

The visitors scored twice in as many minutes late in the second half when Michael Fatialofa muscled his way over the chalk before Vince Aso broke away down the right wing to score in the corner and put the Hurricanes up 26-5.

The hosts stuck back with four minutes remaining when Siliva Siliva was the benefactor of a rolling maul from five metres out after the Rebels opted for a line-up from a penalty.

The Hurricanes had the final say on the stroke of full-time when they had the Rebels pinned on their try line. They then swung the ball across field to former Rebel Jason Woodward on the right wing to score in the corner.

Steve Cummins on the charge in testing conditions at Harlequin's home track. Photo: Getty Images“Really tough conditions out there but both sides really tried to play some rugby and I think both sides will get what they needed from it (the exhibition game),” Rebels head coach Tony McGahan said.

“Our main objective was to give everyone some game time in the squad that’s fit, we really needed to prepare for a game and get back into that mindset which we did and finally we needed to get a really good workout for our defence, breakdown and carry.

“We got those core elements done, the conditions played their part, but we got a good body of work done.”

Hurricanes 31 (Goosen 2, Fatialofa, Aso, Woodward tries)

Melbourne Rebels 10 (English, Siliva tries)