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Crisis hit Melbourne Rebels romp home against Fijian Drua

By AAP
Glen Vaihu of the Rebels dives in to score a try as Ilaisa Droasese of the Drua attempts to tackle during the round seven Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and Fijian Drua at AAMI Park, on April 05, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Melbourne have roared home in the second half to secure a rousing 41-20 victory over Fijian Drua to keep their first Super Rugby Pacific finals berth in sight.

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The Rebels trailed 20-15 at halftime at AAMI Park on Friday night, but with star five-eighth Carter Gordon calling the shots they scored two tries in the space of four minutes to swing the momentum their way.

The six-try bonus-point victory sent the Rebels up the ladder into rare air in fourth spot.

Looking to peg back the five-point halftime deficit, winger Glen Vaihu collected a long cut-out pass from Gordon to cross before flanker Maciu Nabolakasi came up trumps after a rolling maul.

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Bulls Director of Rugby tries to ‘put into perspective’ the current status of his team

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Bulls Director of Rugby tries to ‘put into perspective’ the current status of his team

Vaihu added his second after 53 minutes to push the lead out to 34-20.

When the Drua lost former Rebels halfback Frank Lomani for a deliberate foul when he elbowed the head of lock Josh Canham soon after, the visitors’ fate appeared sealed.

Melbourne went hunting a bonus point and with Gordon putting on some big hits in defence and a huge shift by star prop Taniela Tupou off the bench, the Rebels extended their lead.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
1
6
Tries
3
4
Conversions
1
0
Drop Goals
0
111
Carries
112
9
Line Breaks
3
20
Turnovers Lost
16
7
Turnovers Won
3

Gordon fired a pass out to Filipo Daugunu, who had moved out from the centres to the wing, and he slipped – which wrong-footed the defence – before scooting down the sideline to touch down.

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The Fijians, who had won their last two matches, grew frustrated and Jone Koroiduadua joined Lomani on the bench when he was red-carded after attempting to head-butt Rebels hooker Alex Mafi.

Melbourne face the Highlanders next Saturday night at AAMI Park, looking for their third win on the trot.

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