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Rebels Bow Out of Super Rugby Pacific with Heartbreaking Loss to Hurricanes

Main image to the post Rebels Bow Out of Super Rugby Pacific with Heartbreaking Loss to Hurricanes

The Melbourne Rebels' final Super Rugby Pacific match ended in heartbreak, with the Hurricanes storming to a 47-20 victory on the back of a big second half in Wellington.

The financially stricken club was closed down by Rugby Australia after 14 seasons. Saturday's brave loss saw the Rebels bow out in their first finals appearance in a full-strength men's competition.

They followed the same path as the Queensland Reds, who were ousted by the Chiefs in their quarterfinal on Friday night.

Rebels winger Lachie Anderson scored a late double but the Hurricanes bagged five second-half tries to secure an emphatic win.

The Rebels threw everything at the Hurricanes in the early stages and unsettled the home side with their rushing defence.

They became the first team this season to stop the Hurricanes scoring a try in the opening 20 minutes, twice holding them up over the line with some desperate defence.

But the Rebels' 3-0 lead evaporated four minutes later when prop Pasilio Tosi barrelled over the line.

Another Rebels penalty closed the gap to 7-6, but twice Carter Gordon failed to find touch with clearing kicks and the Hurricanes led at half-time 14-6, with centre Joshua Moorby finding a hole to score in the 39th minute.

The Hurricanes also struck first in the second half, with All Black centre Jordie Barrett slipping out of a Rob Leota tackle before finding number eight Brayden Iose.

Two more tries within three minutes meant there was a mountain to climb for the Rebels, with the lead out to 35-6 after 57 minutes.

Anderson finally opened the Rebels' try-scoring account in the 65th minute when he ran on to an off-load from his skipper Leota.

He was in again two minutes later after a charging run by reserve Rebels backrower Vaiolini Ekuasi.

Two late Hurricanes tries, scored by reserves Du'Plessis Kirifi and Kini Naholo, meant the scoreline blew out, with the hosts marching on to next week's semifinals.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09