What a fantastic game to get the season under way.
The Rebels claimed victory in their first outing of the new season with a 35-14 victory against the Cheetahs on Friday night. A fast start saw Lachlan Mitchell score the first try within the first four minutes, before a smart kick from captain Scott Higginbotham found Jason Woodward standing in the in goal, which was followed by Luke Burgess weaving his way through traffic to give the Rebels two more tries before the half.
Jean Cook got one back for the Cheetahs for the second half, but silky passing from the Rebels backline -- namely Tamati Ellison -- set up a slick try which Bryce Hegarty finished off. Higginbotham sealed the game with a last-play try to put the icing on the game.
The Cheetahs heavy-tackling game was seen in patches, but the high energy from the youthful Rebels were able to capitalise on the many errors and turnovers from the Cheetahs had. The Rebels spent 73% of time in the Cheetahs half and accumulated 776 metres throughout the game compared to the Cheetahs mere 372, which just goes to show how dominant the performance was.
The kicking from Hegarty and Woodward will need some practice after a wayward first half, but coach Tony McGahan would be pleased with most aspects of the game. The team played with hunger, enthusiasm and it looks like an impressive pre-season has carried over into the teams first match.
FT: Rebels 35 def. Cheetahs 14
Rebels: Mitchell, Woodward, Burgess, Hegarty, Higginbotham.
Cheetahs: Cook, Barnes
It was a great way to start off the season for the Melbourne Rebels. Can they keep it up next week when they travel to Perth to play the Force?