Waratahs 31 - 26 Melbourne Rebels

Match info: Super Rugby at

Date: 01/03/2013 KO: 08:20

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Waratahs

TriesFoley (59) Hooper (65) Ryan (75)ConversionsMcKibbin (59, 65)PenaltiesMcKibbin (3, 29, 52, 72)

31
vs
26

Rebels

TriesRobinson (25) Beale (80)ConversionsO'Connor (25, 80)PenaltiesO'Connor (8, 19, 38, 69)

FT (ht: 6-16)

  • Last Updated: March 1 2013, 11:13 GMT

The NSW Waratahs snapped a nine-game Super Rugby losing streak with a come-from-behind 31-26 victory over the Rebels at Allianz Stadium.

Paddy Ryan goes in for a Waratahs try
Paddy Ryan goes in for a Waratahs try

Michael Cheika's men hit the front in the third minute via a Brendan McKibbin penalty but it was all Melbourne for the remainder of the first stanza as they led 16-6 at the break.

Staring down the barrel of yet another defeat, the hosts threw caution to the wind in the wet conditions and were rewarded with tries from Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper and Paddy Ryan to open up an 11-point buffer.

A late try to former Waratah Kurtley Beale salvaged a bonus point for the Rebels, who blew a half-time lead for the second straight week.

McKibbin kicked six-from-seven including four penalties and two conversions, while stand-in skipper James O'Connor also had his radar working to match McKibbin's 16-point haul.

AFL and NRL convert Israel Folau showed promising signs in the second half in just his second Super Rugby hit-out while man-of-the-match Benn Robinson and flanker Michael Hooper were both standouts for the home side.

Beale was a constant threat against his former team-mates while Scott Higginbotham and O'Connor, captaining the Rebels for the first time, both had strong games for the visitors.

It was a promising start for the hosts as Folau stole possession from the opening kick-off to set up McKibbin's early penalty goal.

But things went downhill rapidly from there for the Waratahs as the Rebels dominated first-half territory and possession in the wet conditions.

O'Connor levelled things up in the 16th minute after a Higginbotham interception and gave the visitors their first lead three minutes later when Tatafu Polota-Nau was caught offside.

Polota-Nau stayed in rookie referee Rohan Hoffman's bad books and was sin-binned in the 25th minute for leaving his feet at the breakdown.

The Rebels took immediate advantage of the extra man when hooker Ged Robinson scored the opening try from a well-worked line-out move.

Robinson threw the ball short to Cayderne Neville and got it straight back from half-back Nick Phipps to score untouched in the corner.

O'Connor slotted the extras from the sideline for a 13-3 lead in front of a stunned Sydney crowd.

McKibbin and O'Connor traded late penalties to keep the margin at 10 at the break.

The Waratahs were immediately on the back foot at the restart after Drew Mitchell had his clearing kick charged down.

They got out of trouble and a nice piece of interplay between Polota-Nau and Robinson led to a strong run from Wycliff Palu that turned the momentum in the hosts' favour.

The sin-binning of Rebels prop Laurie Weeks in the 48th minute also proved crucial as the Waratahs scored 10 unanswered points to level at 16-16 on the hour.

And they continued to dominate to record a morale-boosting win.


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