Rebels storm home in second half against Sunwolves

Super Rugby
by AAP

The Melbourne Rebels have continued their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby season with a 37-17 demolition job on the injury-hit Sunwolves in Tokyo.

It's the first time in their eight seasons that the Rebels have opened a campaign with two-successive wins, thanks to their influx of ex-Western Force stars and new coach Dave Wessels.

Jack Maddocks scored a hat-trick among a haul of six tries on Saturday at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, with the Rebels picking up another bonus point.

However, the exciting young winger faces being axed from the starting side for next week's home clash with the Brumbies to make way for the return of Test flyer Marika Koroibete from a knee injury.

The Sunwolves suffered a horror first half on the injury front, losing centre Timothy Lafaele and winger Akihito Yamada to head knocks as well as five-eighth Hayden Parker.

They also lost former Force lock Sam Wykes to a head injury in the second half.

Maddocks helped to set up his first try in the 10th minute when he threw a cut-out pass to bustling winger Sefa Naivalu, who beat a defender and then tossed it back inside to his teammate.

They were in again three minutes later through their Japanese No. 8 Amanaki Mafi to take a 10-0 lead and, with their forwards dominating at the breakdown and set piece, it looked like they would run away with it.

However, the Rebels continued to kick away possession which suited the attacking style of the Sunwolves.

A penalty goal by the home side levelled the scores at 10-10, when Sunwolves winger Will Tupou intercepted a Dane Haylett-Petty pass that would have resulted in Maddocks scoring at the other end.

With Test scrumhalf Will Genia again on song, Melbourne adjusted their tactics and came out firing in the second half.

The backline clicked into gear, pulling off some enterprising set moves, with Maddocks scoring twice to build the match-winning lead.

Former Queensland Reds backrower Ed Quirk gave the home side something to cheer about with a 79th-minute try.

Soon after, however, he was guilty of a deliberate knock-on as the visitors attacked the tryline, resulting in a penalty try and a yellow card after fulltime.


Sunwolves 17

Tries: Tupou, Quirk

Conversions: Nakamura 2

Penalties: Nakamura 1

Melbourne Rebels 37

Tries: Maddocks 3, Mafi, Naivalu, penalty try

Conversions: Hodge 1

Penalties: Debreczeni 1

Yellow card: Quirk (Sunwolves)