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Week 12 of 2018 Vodafone Super Rugby: Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders Review

It’s Week 12 of the Vodafone Super Rugby Season as we have one of two matches in Australia this week.

After arriving back at AAMI Park in Melbourne, the Rebels host the defending Champions, Crusaders.

They still haven’t won in 14 attempts over in South Africa after heavy losses against the Bulls and Stormers.

Will they try and overcome eight-time champions? Let’s find out.

1st Half

Fly-Half Jack Debreczeni did take the first shot between the sticks for the three points.

That put off to an excellent start for the Rebels v the Defending Champions.

SCORE: Rebels 3-0 Crusaders

Though They obstructed a lifter with the maul as aren’t allowed to jump the line across the touch in which the referee called it illegal, so the Crusaders won a penalty.

It gave the opportunity for the defending champions to build some set phases.

Also, Mitchell Drummond played a prominent role by playing on before finding Seta Tamanivalu down the right wing and bang onto the TRY LINE!!

The Rebels failed to roll the ball away where they were unable to protect their defense as the Crusaders found a significant gap out wide which is the attacking way of playing the game.

No conversion made over the goal posts as the Crusaders lead the Rebels by two points.

SCORE: Rebels 3-5 Crusaders

What an intercept from Angus Cottrell who took charge down on Ryan Crotty.

He didn’t produce with speed to reach the goal line but assisted Jack Debreczeni with the run home.

It seems that Debreczeni didn’t do enough to ground the ball for the referee to call it a Rebels TRY.

The discipline what Reece Hodge made is unacceptable when he deliberately knocked on another player.

That’s a straight yellow card where the Rebels have the second most yellow cards so far this season.

Hooker Andrew Makalio pushed so much power where the Rebels missed 20 tackles before he gets over the try line.

It’s not good for the home side where you lost a player with ill-timed discipline and struggling to arrest the gaps over the visitor’s attack.

On the other hand, the Crusaders are dominating possession where they made 50 runs compared to only four runs by the home team.

You let the back line do the work first then you help the front row complete the job as Makalio went past Marika Koroibete just now.

Richie Mo’unga successfully kicks over between the sticks as Crusaders get the two extra points.

SCORE: Rebels 3-10 Crusaders

Matt Todd who plays at Openside Flanker intentionally knocked one down on Will Genia before sin-binned for 10 minutes.

Although, it doesn’t mean the Melbourne Rebels will win a penalty try.

But they fight back when Reece Hodge bounced back from a sin-bin to a TRY.

Hodge gets the bounce of the ball his way as it’s knocked on by Pete Samu.

Then the ball flicks back a couple of Crusaders players before a mistimed pass from Mitchell Drummond saw Hodge took the opportunity of the ball & got one down well over the line.

That’s Reece Hodge’s 3rd try of 2018 and 16th overall in his Super Rugby career.

He now equals alongside Sefa Naivalu as the top Try scorer for the Melbourne based side.

Jack Debreczeni successfully kicks through the goal posts with the two extra points.

SCORE: Rebels 10-10 Crusaders

Although, the Crusaders didn’t get one past the goal line for a try over a knock-on.

However, George Bridge had a head-on crash with Billy Meakes before they won a penalty.

Facts about George Bridge

  • G. Bridge has scored seven tries in eight games so far in 2018.
  • The only time he didn’t play is against the Brumbies last week.
  • Last year, G. Bridge became the 1st player in Super Rugby history to score a hat-trick in consecutive games.

Will Genia has come off the field before half-time on his left ligament strain.

It’s not good for the Rebels, and also the Qantas Wallabies who needed his ability badly against Ireland next month.

Michael Ruru didn’t produce the scrum well as the Crusaders drove a clean heal forward before winning a penalty.

The Rebels failed to stay square and let the scrum go loose.

Richie Mo’ Unga is aiming to kick for the Crusaders’ first penalty attempt in the last four games.

Yes, Mo’ Unga successfully kicks over the crossbar as the Crusaders lead the Rebels by three points.

HALF-TIME SCORE: Rebels 10-13 Crusaders


  • Tries: Reece Hodge (32′)
  • Conversions: Jack Debreczeni (1/1)
  • Penalties: Jack Debreczeni (1/1)


  • Tries: Seta Tamanivalu (7′), Andrew Makalio (18′)
  • Conversions: Richie Mo’ Unga (0/2)
  • Penalties: Richie Mo’ Unga (1/1)

2nd Half

What an inside ball from Andrew Makalio with 122 KG of power on him as he gets his 2nd try of the night.

Ryan Crotty kicks on directly straight towards Seta Tamanivalu with two hands up before he finds the gap towards the inside pass of Makalio and says thank you very much!

Mo’ Unga gets the two more points with the conversion.

SCORE: Rebels 10-20 Crusaders

With 30 minutes of play left, the Crusaders conceded only five penalties.

However, the Rebels conceded a lot worse with nine penalties.

The Crusaders drove the maul forward after the line-out and stayed onside to maintain possession.

But the Rebels won the turn-over where they scrambled the ball mid-field before Reece Hodge clears the ball into touch.

Jack Goodhue gets one over for his fourth TRY of 2018!

What a ball from Scott Barrett as Richie Mo’ Unga made a massive threat towards the Rebels front row.

But the Rebels caught him with only a meter or two.

Then Mitchell Drummond has plenty of options on the right where he goes wide in the attack before assists Goodhue with pace & made the Rebels defense looked baffled.

Mo’ Unga easily kicks between the sticks as the Crusaders extend their lead with another two points.

SCORE: Rebels 10-27 Crusaders

The way the Rebels execute that cleanout has mistimed which allowed Matt Todd to hold on straight with the ball.

That forced the Crusaders to win a penalty and although the ball didn’t kick into touch.

But what a block George Bridge to ruin Jack Maddock’s clear-out kick.

The three Rebels players were clueless in trying to stop Mitchell Hunt.

Hunt first finds the pass to Seta Tamanivalu who pushes up so many Rebels defenders.

He didn’t go as quick to stay inside on the field towards the 22-meter line.

However, Tamanivalu found a solid assist towards Pete Samu as he gets his eighth Super Rugby try of his career.

Samu’s initially comes from Melbourne, but this time he’s the enemy.

Seven Crusaders are playing in support towards targeting the Rebels defense.

The way you got Hunt as well as Tamanivalu and Samu playing close together, that’s how you dominate an attacking play of Rugby.

Mitch Hunt successfully kicks inside past the goal posts for the two extra points.

SCORE: Rebels 10-34 Crusaders

The Crusaders went back to work straight off the restart as Sam Whitelock breaks tackles through the middle before Matt Todd feeds the ball on his left to Bryn Hall who gets one over the try line.

That’s Bryn Hall’s tenth Super Rugby try.

Mitch Hunt’s conversion kick is once again thriving as the defending champions extend their lead.

SCORE: Rebels 10-41 Crusaders

Wyatt Crockett scores his 11th Super Rugby try.

What an offload where the Crusaders remained calm in their ability.

Codie Taylor made some runs before they made several offloads with quick hands where Scott Barrett assisted Crockett with the run-down home.

Let the ball do the talking before catch pass, and that’s how you dominate an opposition defense.

Mitch Hunt gets over the successful conversion for the two extra points.

SCORE: Rebels 10-48 Crusaders

What a TRY from Manasa Mataele!

He scored two tries last week off the bench v the Brumbies in Canberra, and now he finishes the game nicely for the Crusaders!

That’s now eight tries of 2018 now for Mataele.

You won’t catch Mataele from there as he made a stunning 50-meter dash towards the run home.

That’s too easy for Mataele.

Mitch Hunt successfully kicks the ball between the sticks & the Crusaders gets their most significant win on Australian soil.

FULL-TIME: Rebels 10-55 Crusaders



  • Reece Hodge (32′)


  • Jack Debreczeni (1/1)


  • Jack Debreczeni (1/1)



  • Seta Tamanivalu (7′)
  • Andrew Makalio (18′, 44′)
  • Jack Goodhue (51′)
  • Peter Samu (63′)
  • Bryn Hall (65′)
  • Wyatt Crockett (77′)
  • Manasa Matele (80′)


  • Richie Mo’ Unga (2/4), Mitch Hunt (4/4)


  • Richie Mo’ Unga (1/1)


The defending champions demonstrated the final 40 minutes of a masterclass with six tries in hand.

They put a lot of trust and belief as they played their attacking way of playing rugby.

These are the types of ability that helped the Crusaders dominate tonight:

  • Unstructured
  • Free-flowing
  • Playing closer together as one team
  • Look up and play what’s in front of you
  • Build more phases and offloads
  • Know which line to hit and an angle to play

That’s how you would want to look at how the most successful and defending Super Rugby team will want to play each week.

The Crusaders now win six straight wins alongside the first two games so far in 2018:

  • Chiefs, 45-23
  • Stormers, 45-28
  • Bulls, 33-14
  • Lions, 14-8
  • Jaguares, 40-14
  • Sunwolves, 33-11
  • Brumbies, 21-8
  • Rebels, 55-10

The only time they lost two matches is only New Zealand teams outside of Christchurch:

  • Hurricanes, 29-19
  • Highlanders, 25-17

It looks like that the Crusaders will the hard and best team to beat as they sit first at both the New Zealand Conference & Overall standings with 38 points.

They now return home to Christchurch when they host the NSW Waratahs next Saturday.

AFTER GAME REPORT: Melbourne Rebels

On the other hand, the continuing trend of decline against the New Zealand teams for Australians is still clueless.

The Melbourne Rebels were a little loose with the discipline in the first half.

However, the way they execute the clean-outs, scrummaging and mauls needs a lot of room for improvement.

Also, they made up to many missed tackles which is more comfortable for the defending champions to spread out wide and throw them under the bus destroyed.

They now lost five straight matches, and it’s not even looking good for the Rebels right now.

  • Hurricanes, 50-19
  • Jaguares, 25-22
  • Bulls, 28-10
  • Stormers, 34-18
  • Crusaders, 55-10

They now head to GIO Stadium in Canberra next Saturday night when they face the ACT Brumbies.


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Coming up next

The Waratahs host the Blues from Auckland, New Zealand tonight at Brookvale Oval in Manly, NSW.

All Australian teams continue to suffer 37 straight losses v the New Zealand sides.

Will the Waratahs overcome the struggling Blues and end the Trans-Tasman drought?

Find out during kick-off at 7.45 PM AEST LIVE on FOX Sports 506.

Image Sources: FOX Sports Australia

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