Rebels no match for Hurricanes who keep unbeaten run alive


Melbourne have been left to rue another slow start in crashing to the table-topping Hurricanes, who piled on the points in their Super Rugby Pacific clash in Palmerston North.

The unbeaten Hurricanes made a staggering 14 personnel changes to their line-up heading into the match but didn’t skip a beat as they notched their fifth win of the season with a 54-28 victory.

The Rebels had no answer in the first half to the Kiwi outfit, who led 33-7 at the break on the back of five tries and were ahead 33-0 after 34 minutes.

Winger Salesi Rayasi grabbed two tries while skipper Brad Shields, who last played for the Hurricanes in 2018 before a stint in Europe, also crossed in his first match of the season after recovering from a foot injury.

Rebels lock Angelo Smith scored in the 39th minute to ensure his side at least lodged some points in a humiliating first half which will do little to help their case for survival.

In financial dire straits, Melbourne are still waiting on a decision from Rugby Australia on their future in the competition.

The Rebels rallied to open the scoring in the second half through centre Lukas Ripley, and the team came together when youngster Mason Gordon crossed in his Super debut.

Replacing Andrew Kellaway at fullback, the 21-year-old ran onto a ball from his Wallabies playmaker brother Carter and made his way through some heavy traffic to make it 47-19.

While Melbourne kept toiling away, the Hurricanes kept them at bay as they racked up a total of eight tries for the night.

Veteran halfback TJ Perenara was among the try-scorers while Jordie Barrett collected a five-pointer in each half in his return from a two-game suspension.

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