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Hurricanes over-run Rebels 25-15

AAP
Saturday, May 10, 2014

Update: 9:39AM Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan's two young sons played for their local rugby club at halftime in the Super Rugby match.

One scored a brilliant try and the other ended up in tears with nothing to show for his efforts - it pretty much summed up the Rebels' night.

Despite delivering another impressive performance Melbourne were left empty-handed as the Hurricanes snatched a 25-15 win at AAMI Park.

Hurricanes five-eighth Beauden Barrett finished with a personal tally of 20 points through six penalty kicks and a conversion and set up the Wellington side's only try.

The match was tighter than the scoreline indicated but that will bring little joy to the Rebels, who have had a run of close losses.

"We have a lot of elements that are working pretty well but certain elements of our game aren't where they need to be," McGahan said.

"We need to work on our game management and our execution on attack being clinical."

The Hurricanes have the best attacking record in the competition however Melbourne's much-improved defence held them tryless until the 57th minute.

Barrett showed off skills when he spotted winger Cory Jane unmarked and put a perfectly weighted kick across field and Jane was able to get a pass away to skipper Conrad Smith.

The Rebels continued to pressure the visitors and took advantage of a 14-man opposition after Smith was yellow-carded for a cynical foul.

Melbourne skipper Scott Higginbotham was held up over the line but Tamati Ellison managed to plant the ball soon after, however they were still well short.

Melbourne trailed 12-10 at half-time, scoring the only try of the half through Bryce Hegarty.

They did themselves no favours, opening the second half with six straight penalties.

Luckily Barrett was off target with two of his three kicking attempts.

The loss leaves the Rebels with three wins while the Hurricanes move to second in the New Zealand conference.

McGahan said the team was "perplexed" by the second half run of penalties at the breakdown, although didn't want to blame refereeing decisions for the loss.

"We were a little bit perplexed about the consistency of the decisions but that hasn't been a new thing this year.

"The story is, though, that we were beaten by a really good side who are going to the finals."

Hurricanes skipper Smith said he thought referee Matt O'Brien was fairly even-handed and that the Rebels pushed the boundaries with their aggression at the breakdown.

"We knew we would have to grind the Rebels down and I was proud about the way we played that second half," Smith said.

"There were a lot of penalties and we had to take the points and we built pressure that way which made it more comfortable at the end when they came back."








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