Same problems hamper Rebels in Pretoria - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Same problems hamper Rebels in Pretoria

Adrian Warren 15/05/2011 07:25:37 PM Comments (0)

The recurring problems of a poor start and a porous defence followed Melbourne all the way to Pretoria, as they crashed 47-10 to the Bulls in their first Super Rugby match in South Africa.

The Bulls scored seven tries to one, crossing the Rebels' line six times in the first half.

Down 40-3 at the break, Melbourne showed more fight after halftime.

The second half finished 7-7, with substitute back Cooper Vuna scoring a smart try from a chip and regather.

For the Bulls, centre Wynand Olivier bagged a hat-trick of tries, fullback Zane Kirchner two and winger Bjorn Basson and halfback Fourie du Preez one apiece.

It was the Rebels' ninth loss in 12 starts and their fifth in a row since their bye.

They became the first team this season to concede over 400 points, having leaked at least 40 for the fifth time.

Melbourne have not kept any team below 24 points in their first Super campaign and have invariably fallen well behind in the first half of matches.

"We're finding it very tough to get into games," Rebels captain Stirling Mortlock said.

"Against a team as good as the Bulls, turnovers and soft tries are just not good enough."

Melbourne looked threatening in the first few minutes, but butchered a couple of promising attacks with forward passes.

The Bulls scored two tries in as many minutes to take control.

Olivier pounced on a perfectly weighted chip kick from five-eighth Morne Steyn to score the first try in the seventh minute.

The Rebels' line was swiftly breached again by Kirchner following a break by the speedy and impressive Basson.

Five-eighth Julian Huxley kicked a penalty to put the visitors on the board in the 17th minute.

The Bulls piled on four tries and 26 unanswered points in an 11 minute burst just before the break.

Basson triggered the onslaught with a bizarre try where everyone stopped after it appeared Kirchner had knocked on. However, the referee played on and Basson resumed running and scampered away.

Olivier, Kirchner and du Preez all crossed in the space of six minutes, with the last coming after the Rebels lost the ball from their own scrum feed close to their line.

"Our execution was poor in the first half," said fullback Richard Kingi, easily Melbourne's best player.

The Rebels were more competitive and the Bulls less clinical in the second half, though Olivier was able to complete his hat-trick all too easily from a scrum move.

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