Stormers vs Rebels: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels were blown off the park by the Stormers in Cape Town.

Here's what we learned from the 34-18 result.

1. Scrum cause for change

Melbourne's disintegrating scrum all but cost them any chance they had in this match. Tetera Faulkner, Jermaine Ainsley and Matt Philip all had to be pulled by the 50th minute, such was the dominance of the Stormers scrum.The remarkable turnaround when Fereti Sa'aga, Sam Talakai and Geoff Parling took their places will be food for thought for coach Dave Wessels, as Melbourne were the dominant scrum with that trio on the field.

2. Aimless attack

Michael Ruru hasn't been able to get the Rebels attack to fire in Will Genia's absence. Photo: Getty ImagesThe loss of Will Genia has significantly hurt the Rebels.Losing Jack Maddocks to a foot injury on game day can't have helped but the Melbourne attack is borderline unrecognisable from the high octane style they brandished in their 4-1 start to the year.They have cracked 20 points just once in their last four starts and it's no coincidence they haven't emerged victorious in any of those matches.

3. Ill discipline takes toll

When it wasn't the scrum sending Melbourne backwards in the first half, ill discipline took over. An Anaru Rangi penalty in the 20th minute typified the sloppy approach at the breakdown. Referee Ben O'Keeffe clearly told the Rebels hooker to leave the ball alone as a Stormers ruck formed, only for the hooker to disregard the orders and claim a turnover. He was rightfully penalised and gifted three points to the home side in the process.

4. Willemse well beyond his years

Damian Willemse starred for the Stormers. Photo: Getty ImagesStormers flyhalf Damian Willemse will be a star of South African rugby for a very long time. His kicking game is accurate, playmaking calculated and he has all the tools to thrive on the world stage. The Stormers will miss him over the next month as he travels with the South African U20s to the northern hemisphere for matches that will serve as a tune up for the World U20s Championship.

5. Rebels go home empty handed

A sore, sorry Rebels side will return to Melbourne without a single point to show for their two-week tour. Their run of outs on South African soil continues and things don't get any easier next Friday, when they host the Crusaders.