March 19, 2022
The Waratahs have won back-to-back matches for the first time in 19 months and consigned Melbourne to more Super Rugby Pacific misery with a 24-19 victory at the SCG.
After beating the Western Force last round the Waratahs backed it up with a hard-fought victory on Saturday night over the winless Rebels, who were at least in the contest after their best performance of the season.
The home side led 14-6 at halftime with tries by No.8 Will Harris and centre Lalakai Foketi.
Harris risked the wrath of coach Darren Coleman by ignoring two unmarked teammates outside him and electing to drag two Rebels across the line.
Foketi earlier did his chances of Wallabies squad selection on Sunday no harm when he split the defence with a power run to the line.
But as has been the Rebels' story of the season, they struggled to complete most attacking raids despite some nifty work by centre Ray Nu'u and young winger Glen Vaihu with fullback Reece Hodge also toiling hard.
They were kept in the match by four penalty goals by five-eighth Matt To'omua, who temporarily left the field after a first-half head knock.
The knock-out blow looked to have come in the 54th minute when Rebels reserve hooker Efi Ma'afu was given a yellow card for a lifting tackle, with Waratahs winger Alex Newsome crossing in his absence.
But Melbourne prop Cabous Eloff burrowed over in the 67th minute to put his side back in the game, trailing by five points.
However in the late scramble they weren't able to conjure a second try to close the gap, allowing the Waratahs to chalk up their third win of the season.
WARATAHS 24 (Tries: Foketi, Harris, Newsome, Con: Harrison 3/3, Pens: Harrison 1/1) REBELS 19 (Tries: Eloff, Cons: Gordon 1/1, Pens: To’omua 4/5, Hodge 0/1)
WARATAHS: 15. Will Harrison, 14. Dylan Pietsch, 13. Izaia Perese, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 11. Alex Newsome, 10. Ben Donaldson, 9. Jack Grant, 8. Will Harris, 7. Charlie Gamble, 6. Hugh Sinclair, 5. Geoff Cridge, 4. Jed Holloway (c), 3. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2. Dave Porecki, 1. Angus Bell
RESERVES: 16. Tom Horton, 17. Te Tera Faulkner, 18. Ruan Smith/Archer Holz, 19. Langi Gleeson, 20. Carlo Tizzano, 21. Teddy Wilson, 22. Jamie Roberts, 23. Mark Nawaqanitawase
REBELS: 15. Reece Hodge, 14. Andrew Kellaway, 13. Young Tonumaipea, 12. Ray Nu'u, 11. Glen Vaihu, 10. Matt To'omua, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Tamati Ioane, 7. Richard Hardwick, 6. Michael Wells (c), 5. Josh Canham, 4. Matt Philip, 3. Cabous Eloff, 2. Jordan Uelese, 1. Cameron Orr
RESERVES: 16. Efi Ma'afu, 17. Matt Gibbon, 18. Rhys Van Nek, 19. Sam Wallis, 20. Brad Wilkin, 21. James Tuttle, 22. Carter Gordon, 23. Stacey Ili
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy, Matt Kellahan