Sam Gilbert the hero as Highlanders claim much-needed win over Rebels

The Melbourne Rebels’ slim hopes of constructing the Tremendous Rugby Pacific finals have suffered a hammer blow as they misplaced to the Highlanders in heart-breaking trend in Dunedin.


The match seemed headed in the direction of golden level earlier than Highlanders centre Sam Gilbert booted the match-winning penalty in the 84th minute to interrupt the impasse and accumulate a 20-17 victory.

Each groups went into Saturday’s sport on 15 factors, three exterior of the finals-bound high eight and determined for victory.

After a try-saving sort out by Rebels fullback Andrew Kellaway, who managed to roll and maintain up Highlanders flanker James Lentjes as he tried to attain in the seventy fifth minute, Melbourne went on the assault however knocked the ball on after 10 phases.

Gilbert stepped up after Rebels No.8 Richard Hardwick, who had been one in all their finest, was pinged at the breakdown.

Melbourne had been made to play the remaining 10 minutes with 14 males after Jordan Uelese was given a yellow card after the reserve hooker introduced down a Highlanders participant with out the ball, mistiming his sort out.

It was a heavy worth with Gilbert additionally booting a penalty to tie up the match at 17-17.

With in-form playmaker Carter Gordon lacking the match with a bruised knee and Reece Hodge at 5 eighth for the first time this season, Melbourne’s assault lacked punch and polish early on.


The Highlanders additionally made life tough for the guests at the breakdown by enjoying traditional free forwards All Black Shannon Frizell and Max Hicks in the second-row.

The house aspect seemed to have crossed after two minutes however Rebels winger Lachie Anderson someway acquired his hand underneath the ball to cease Gilbert grounding it for a attempt.

Former Sevens star Anderson additionally pulled off a try-saving sort out later in the half when he bumped Sean Withy into contact as he surged towards the line.

The Highlanders did handle to attain in the thirteenth minute by fullback Connor Backyard-Bachop earlier than Melbourne levelled when Hardwick dived throughout from the again of the ruck.


With turnovers cruelling the Rebels’ assault, the Dunedin aspect went into halftime up 14-7 after All Blacks prop Ethan de Groot broke by the goal-line defence at the 30 minute mark.

Melbourne once more locked up the sport when Stacey Ili, who arrange Hardwick’s attempt, discovered a gap after which Hodge gave his crew a 17-14 lead with a profitable penalty strike.

Nevertheless it didn’t show sufficient to maintain the residence aspect at bay, with Melbourne’s season now successfully over with two rounds to play.

You might also like