Rebels outplay Lions in Melbourne
The Lions suffered a fourth defeat in five matches in this year’s Super Rugby competition when they went down 37-17 to the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.
It was the first time the Rebels had beaten the Lions in six matches.
The Lions, beaten by the Waratahs in Sydney in their first tour game last weekend, were out-played in most departments by Dave Wessels’ team and conceded five tries, while scoring just two of their own.
Andrew Kellaway (2), Richard Hardwick, Isi Naisarani and Dane Haylett-Petty crossed for the home team, while Jamba Ulengo and replacement prop Sti Sithole got the Lions’ tries.
The Rebels, who gave up a 33-5 lead in the teams’ meeting at Ellis Park last year to lose 36-33, scored first on Saturday through a Matt Toomua penalty and never gave up their lead over the 80 minutes.
They played with greater intensity and desire which left the Lions on the back-foot for much of the clash. The visitors, who struggled in the lineouts and also didn’t wholly convince in the scrums, were poor in several areas, but most especially their handling let them down. On several occasions they fumbled the ball which cost them possession and try-scoring opportunities.
Ivan van Rooyen’s team were also, again, found wanting defensively, as the Rebels regularly found space and holes to run into, and through.
The Rebels had the upperhand throughout the clash, and even scored tries in the periods when they were reduced to playing with 14 men when Marika Kroibete and Tom English were in the sin-bin.
The Lions next face the Blues in Auckland next Saturday.
Tries: Kellaway (2), Hardwick, Naisarani, Haylett-Petty; Conversions: Toomua (3); Penalties: Toomua (2)
Tries: Ulengo, Sithole; Conversions: Jantjies (2). Penalty: Jantjies