Rebels snap losing streak with away win over Moana Pasifika
Melbourne have ended a three-match Super Rugby Pacific losing run with a 43-33 win in Auckland over a fast finishing but undisciplined Moana Pasifika side.
The home team had three players sin-binned by referee Angus Mabey and were on the wrong end of a 12-2 first-half penalty count that added to their woes.
Strong in the set pieces, the Rebels scored seven tries to five in an entertaining scrap at Mt Smart Stadium between the two lowest teams on the ladder.
All four of Melbourne’s first-half tries came while Pasifka were a man down, and their first five-pointer of the second half also came while the hosts were down to 14 men.
Pasifika trailed 38-12 before scoring three tries in the last 20 minutes to get within five points, before winger Monty Ioane crossed for a match-clinching five-pointer.
Early on, the Rebels dominated territory and came close to crossing on at least seven occasions before they did get over the line.
Pasifika flanker Miracle Faiilagi was binned for offside and Melbourne quickly capitalised on their numerical advantage.
Winger Lachie Anderson crossed after taking a cut out pass from Carter Gordon.
Pasifika showed what they could do with some possession with winger Neria Fomai going over in the right hand corner following a tap penalty.
But when back within five points, prop Isileli Tu’ungafasi was shown a yellow card.
Gordon shaped to pass but ended up striding through a gap and centre David Feliuai produced a powerful run for the Rebels’ fourth try to set up their 24-5 halftime lead.
Front-rower Ezekiel Lindenmuth was shown yellow less than 30 seconds into the second half and Melbourne again made the home team pay.
Mafi barged over for his second try in the 58th minute after a perfectly executed driving maul following a lineout win.
Pasifika refused to crumble with their superstar centre Levi Aumua crashing over.
Replacement Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese was sin-binned for offside in the 76th and seconds later Fine Inisi crossed, with the same player rounding off a move for his second try with just over a minute left.
Join free and tell us what you really think!Join Free