Rebels vs Hurricanes: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Hurricanes blitzed the Rebels at AAMI Park, extending Australia's losing run against New Zealand opposition to 33.

Here's what we learned from the 50-19 result.

1. Mafi the heart of Melbourne

Amanaki Mafi was sidelined by a head knock at half time and when he didn't emerge from the sheds it essentially signalled the end of Melbourne's night.

He did enough work in the first half to make his numbers eye popping, such was the enormity of his first term.

The superstar No. 8 had 14 carries for 85 metres, three tackle busts and a line break.

Mafi's frame at full steam is a fearsome sight - even for a team of the Hurricanes' strength - and the Rebels did not look close to the same without him.

2. Defensive flaws shine through

It was all too easy for Ben Lam and the Hurricanes. Photo: Getty ImagesTwice the Rebels have had teams match their attacking nous and twice they have been on the end of floggings.

This loss was remarkably similar to the match against the Waratahs, who trailed 20-3 before blitzing Melbourne with a brilliant second half.

Melbourne play an expansive brand of rugby but when teams respond with similar firepower, they look lost.

3. Koroibete kept quiet

Through 54 minutes, Marika Koroibete did not record a single run.

Sometimes there is very little wingers can do about that but Melbourne have to find a way to get his hands on the ball with more regularity.

4. Brilliant Barrett

Beauden Barrett starred in Melbourne. Photo: Getty ImagesThe turning point in this match came in the 10 minutes prior to half time, where Barrett set up Ben Lam's second try with a kick - albeit a lucky one - before scoring a try of his own.

He is still at the peak of his powers and truly is a marvel to watch.

5. Tough stretch awaits

Melbourne now have the bye but must win their next home start, against the Jaguares, with a South African tour and clash against the Crusaders around the corner.