Hurricanes hand exiting Rebels defeat to reach Super Rugby Pacific semis

Hurricanes in a scrum-contest against Melbourne Rebels. PHOTO/Hurricanes/Facebook
Hurricanes in a scrum-contest against Melbourne Rebels. PHOTO/Hurricanes/Facebook

Melbourne Rebels’ last-ever Super Rugby Pacific match ended in heartbreak as the Hurricanes stormed to a 47-20 victory, following a dominant second half in Wellington.

In their first-ever final, the Rebels faced off against the Hurricanes, but the financially stricken club, closed down by Rugby Australia after 14 seasons, couldn’t secure a fairytale ending.

Rebels winger Lachie Anderson scored a late double, but it was too little too late as the Hurricanes secured five second-half tries to clinch an emphatic win.

Melbourne began the match with determination, unsettling the home side with their rushing defense. They became the first team this season to prevent the Hurricanes from scoring a try in the opening 20 minutes, twice holding them up over the line with desperate defense.

Despite their efforts, the Rebels’ 3-0 lead was short-lived. Hurricanes prop Pasilio Tosi barrelled over the line four minutes later, erasing the Rebels’ lead. Another Rebels penalty narrowed the gap to 7-6, but two failed clearing kicks by Carter Gordon allowed the Hurricanes to lead 14-6 at halftime, with center Joshua Moorby scoring in the 39th minute.


The Hurricanes struck first in the second half, with All Black center Jordie Barrett breaking a Rob Leota tackle to set up No.8 Brayden Iose for a try. Two more tries within three minutes extended the lead to 35-6 after 57 minutes, creating a mountain too steep for the Rebels to climb.

Anderson finally opened the Rebels’ try-scoring account in the 65th minute, running on to an offload from skipper Leota. He scored again two minutes later, following a charging run by reserve back-rower Vaiolini Ekuasi.

However, two late tries by Hurricanes reserves Du’Plessis Kirifi and Kini Naholo blew out the scoreline, with the Hurricanes marching on to next week’s semi-finals, while the Rebels bowed out of Super Rugby Pacific.

The Rebels’ brave performance in their final match was commendable, but the Hurricanes’ second-half surge proved too formidable to overcome.

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