Mortlock back with try for Rebels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortlock back with try for Rebels

29/01/2011 11:04:51 PM Comments (0)

Former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock has made a try-scoring debut for the Melbourne Rebels in his first game since May last year.

Mortlock showed he was finally over a long-term back injury by powering over for a first-half try in the new Super Rugby franchise's 42-27 trial win over Fiji in Ballarat.

"I was considerably more nervous than what I would have been for a normal trial, but it was good nervous," the 33-year-old said.

"It was nice to get back on the horse."

Mortlock was found to have a serious disc problem which required surgery soon after his announcement he would move from the Brumbies to Rod Macqueens's Rebels for 2011.

The Rebels made it three-from-three in their inaugural pre-season, with a litmus test against New Zealand powerhouse the Crusaders awaiting them next week.

Five first-half tries from Lachie Mitchell, James Hilgendorf, Mortlock, Danny Cipriani and Cooper Vuna, as well as one in the second term from Heath Tessman, ensured the victory in hot conditions in the Victorian gold fields.

Cipriani booted five conversions and Hilgendorf one in front of 3,445 fans at St Patrick's College.

"This was the nucleus of a good side here," Macqueen said.

"And they've been training together for quite a while. For instance their set-pieces, the scrums and lineouts were of good quality and that's what we needed."

Cipriani, starting at fullback, scored a brilliant individual five-pointer, while former Newcastle Knight Vuna has now scored in all three trials.

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