Melbourne bow out of finals and Super Rugby with loss

June 8, 2024 7:36 pm

[Source: Super Rugby]

Melbourne’s last ever Super Rugby Pacific match has ended in heartbreak, with the Hurricanes storming to a 47-20 victory on the back of a big second half in Wellington.

With the financially stricken club closed down by Rugby Australia after 14 seasons, Saturday’s brave loss saw the Rebels bow out in their first ever final.

They followed the same path as Queensland, who were ousted by the Chiefs in their quarter-final on Friday night.

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Rebels winger Lachie Anderson scored a late double but it was too little too late, with the Hurricanes bagging five second-half tries to secure an emphatic win.

Melbourne threw everything at the Hurricanes early on, and unsettled the home side with their rushing defence.

They became the first team this season to stop the Hurricanes scoring a try in the opening 20 minutes, twice holding the home side up over the line with some desperate defence.

But the Rebels’ 3-0 lead evaporated four minutes later when prop Pasilio Tosi barrelled over the line.

Another Rebels penalty closed the gap to 7-6, but twice Carter Gordon failed to find touch with clearing kicks and the Hurricanes went into halftime up 14-6, with centre Joshua Moorby finding a hole to score in the 39th minute.

The Wellington men also struck first in the second half, with All Black centre Jordie Barrett slipping out of a Rob Leota tackle before finding No.8 Brayden Iose.

Two more tries within three minutes meant there was a mountain to climb for the Rebels, with the lead out to 35-6 after 57 minutes.

Anderson finally opened the Rebels’ try-scoring account in the 65th minute when he ran on to an off-load from his skipper Leota.

He was in again two minutes later after a charging run by reserve Melbourne back-rower Vaiolini Ekuasi.

Two late Hurricanes tries, scored by reserves Du’Plessis Kirifi and Kini Naholo, meant the scoreline blew out, with their team marching on to next week’s semi-finals.