Five things we learnt from Hurricanes - Melbourne Rebels

Sat, Jun 8, 2024, 6:26 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

The Melbourne Rebels' time has come to an end after a 47-20 defeat to the Hurricanes in the quarter-finals.

The Rebels turned up for the battle but the class of the Hurricanes was too much as they ran away with the game.

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So what did we learn?

1. The Melbourne Rebels

As the final siren sounded, players, fans and coaches were in tears as the Rebels' time in Super Rugby Pacific came to an end.

It’s been a tough year for the club, with their future sealed before the finals amid financial issues.

Captain Rob Leota said after the game he was optimistic the Rebels could return and this is only amplified when you go through the list of players that have pulled on the Victorian jersey.

It’s been a breeding ground for a plethora of Victorian talent and emerging stars like the Gordon brothers.

It leaves the Brumbies flying the flag once again for the Australian sides after the Reds’ defeat yesterday in Hamilton.

2. The Achilles heels of Australian sides 

Conceding before and after half-time has hurt Australia teams across all formats and decades and the Rebels were no different in Wellington.

Down 7-6 with next to no possession and territory, the Rebels were caught napping and torn apart by Jordie Barrett.

The All Black twice went through some soft defence and set up teammates for tries, giving them momentum and a major lead.

There’s something about the five metres before and after the break that simultaneously brings the best out of the Kiwis and the worst out of the Australians.

It proved the difference in the end as the Rebels tried to launch a comeback with no success.

3. Fighting till the end

In their final game in Super Rugby Pacific, the Rebels were never going to lie down and let the Hurricanes dominate them.

During the week, they stated they were going to come out swinging and attack the Hurricanes and that’s what they did in defence, frustrating the Hurricanes with their line speed and breakdown pressure.

The Hurricanes have been the best sides in the first quarter in 2024 but were kept scoreless as the Rebels defied a lack of territory and possession for the lead.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t maintain this for 80 minutes as the Hurricanes ran away with the win.

4. Beware the bouncing ball 

In physical contests like this, sometimes millimetres is all that makes the difference and it came back to cost the Rebels in the first half.

Harry Godfrey’s clearing kick looked certain to hit the chalk as Carter Gordon watched it the entire way, bending back in to find the grass.

It proved costly, with Pasilio Tosi barging over two minutes later for the opening try.

The Rebels will protest they should’ve got the short arm penalty with a delay in the lineout but they’ll be scratching their heads wondering how that ball stayed in

5. Numia concerns

The Hurricanes got through to the semi but the injury to Xavier Numia is a massive concern.

Numia hobbled off the field after a dominant scrum right before the break, struggling to put weight on his leg.

It’s a huge blow for the minor premiers, with Numia arguably their MVP of the 2024 campaign.

The 25-year-old would be short odds to make his All Blacks debut this season if fit.

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