Rebels resilience reaps rewards as Waratahs are overpowered

By Ben Hampshire.   Last Updated: 24/05/13 12:51pm

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The Rebels fought back to seal a narrow 24-22 victory over the Waratahs in an exhilarating Super Rugby encounter on Friday.

Both sides looked to kick for territory early on before Jason Woodward opened the scoring with a penalty for the Rebels - only for Berrick Barnes to level the tie moments later.

Just one minute had elapsed from that kick when the Rebels managed to turn the ball over and press into Waratahs territory. A wide pass found Tom English, who raced in the first try of the match with Woodward successfully converting.

With intensity high the Waratahs reduced their deficit to four in the next minute when Barnes successfully kicked a penalty before Woodward's second successful penalty opened the gap once again in favour of the hosts.

Barnes was on targeted with another three-pointer before tagging on the extras when Israel Folau intercepted the ball on the Rebels 22 to race over to give the visitors a 16-13 lead at the interval.

In the balance

The Waratahs continued strongly after the break as Barnes kicked another penalty to extend the visitors' advantage.

Two Woodward penalties in six minutes, though, drew the scores level before the Rebels lost discipline and Brendan McKibbin made them pay with a three-pointer of his own.

The hosts were resilient and forced their way into the Waratahs 22 with some good ball retention before a wide pass found English on the wing once again to run in his second try of the game and put the Rebels 24-22 up.

With just two minutes before the siren McKibbin was presented a match-winning opportunity but failed to capitalise when his penalty attempt went wayward.

Victory elevates the Rebels into 11th in the Super Rugby standings with the Stormers set to face the Reds on Saturday.

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