Rebels vs Bulls: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

They put up a fight but the Rebels eventually fell to the Bulls, 28-10.

Here's what we learned from the match.

1. Rebels show resolve

Melbourne folded up when both the Waratahs and Hurricanes put points on them but they showed some serious resolve against the Bulls. They trailed 21-3 at half time and were arguably the better side in the second term, fighting fire with fire as they threw the football around and matched the Bulls' immense physicality. A loss is a loss but it was a step forward for Melbourne as they continue to gel.

2. Ruru ready to roll

Will Genia left an enormous hole for Michael Ruru to fill but he was constantly probing the Bulls line and added plenty of spark to Melbourne's attack. Coach Dave Wessels backed Ruru to the hills through the media this week and in Genia's absence, he delivered. While Genia nurses his hamstring injury, Melbourne have a more than capable replacement.

3. Hardwick handy at breakdown

Richard Hardwick entered the fray at half-time and was everywhere.He was a constant pest when the Bulls had the ball and his enthusiasm for the contest lifted his teammates. It was easily his best performance in a Melbourne jersey to date.

4. Injury concerns

Jordan Uelese was forced from the field in the second half. Photo: Getty ImagesDane Haylett-Petty was forced off the field with a head knock at the 30-minute mark, Adam Coleman suffered the same fate and a bizarre situation followed late in the second half, with both Jordan Uelese and Anaru Rangi off through injury and uncontested scrums called. If neither are fit to face the Stormers, Wessels has a serious selection headache on his hands.

5. Woeful weekend for Aussies

The Waratahs, Reds and now Rebels have all fallen to foreign opponents this weekend. The cumulative score of all three matches - 93-22 - makes for even worse reading.Here's hoping the Brumbies can turn things around against the Jaguares.