Melbourne Rebels continue Waratahs pain at AAMI Park

Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 11:00 AM
Melissa Woods - AAP
by Melissa Woods - AAP
Matt To'omua scores a chip and chase try against the Waratahs during round five of Super Rugby AU

The Melbourne Rebels proved there's no place like home with a thumping 33-14 victory over the woeful NSW Waratahs in their first Super Rugby AU match at AAMI Park in more than a year.

Melbourne playmaker Matt Toomua was all class as he steered his team to their biggest ever victory over NSW, who remain winless in the competition after five rounds.

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The only disappointment for the Rebels was their failure to secure a bonus point, with the Waratahs crossing twice in the final three minutes.

"It's a good win, there was a lot of good signs there," Toomua said.

"Being critical as is our nature we will look back and say we probably should have come away with a bonus point but this first stretch of competition has thrown us a few curve balls and we've come away very proud."

Lachie Anderson collects his spoils

While there was plenty to like about the hosts' performance, the worrying signs continue for the Waratahs who were well beaten at the breakdown while their errors and penalty count proved costly.

The Rebels set up the record win in a memorable first half, which included two special tries.

Winger Lachie Anderson collected the spoils in the 12th minute, with the first-phase try coming off a line-out 55 metres out.

The ball was worked through eight sets of hands, with centre Stacey Ili racing downfield before holding it up for fullback Tom Pincus, who found Anderson.

Toomua, who also added 13 points with his boot before being given an early night, crossed the line in a brilliant individual effort.

The Wallabies No.10 threw a giant dummy and glided through the Waratahs defence before chipping ahead, with the ball bouncing sweetly back into his arms for him to dive over.

The Rebels have continued their winning ways defeating the Waratahs at AAMI Park

His conversion put the home side out to 23-0 halftime lead.

The forwards got some pay for a dominant performance midway through the second half when replacement hooker Jordan Uelese joined a maul off the line-out and rumbled over with little resistance.

The Waratahs scored their first points in the 77th minute with a well-crafted try, scored by replacement Jeremy Williams, and then winger Jack Maddocks crossed after the final siren but it did little to take the sting out of the loss.

Coach Rob Penney said they couldn't take much solace from the late rally.

"The damage was done in the first half," Penney said.

"It was great the boys kept fighting to the end and bench injected a little bit which was nice.

"We could live in a dark hole if we let ourselves but we've got to bounce quickly."

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