Super Rugby: Melbourne Rebels beat the Highlanders with last minute try
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 12/07/13 9:44pm
The Melbourne Rebels won a thrilling encounter 38-37 against the Highlanders thanks to a last grasp try from Bryce Hegarty.
It has been a disappointing Super Rugby campaign for the Rebels but this incredible comeback win will ensure that their fans go into the off-season in high spirits.
Four first half tries from the visitors saw them lead 31-7 at the interval, Tom English's early try the only positive for Australian side.
However, a remarkable second half turnaround was completed when Hegarty touched down with the last play of the game to leave the Highlanders stunned.
It all started so well for the Kiwi outfit, Ben Smith going over after less than six minutes before English responded for the hosts to level matters at 7-7.
The Highlanders looked set to continue their good end of season form as they ran in a further three tries before half-time courtesy of Hosea Gear, Tamati Ellison and Tony Woodcock as the Rebels laboured.
Perhaps complacency set in after the restart as the visitors lacked the intensity that was so impressive in the first half, the Rebels made the most of their opponent's lapse and Cooper Vuna went over for a try on 47 minutes.
He added another shortly after the hour mark and, suddenly, the Rebels were back in with a chance.
English added his second try soon after and when fly-half Hegarty touched down, after a pass from substitute James O'Connor, the Rebels trailed by just one with six minutes still to go.
A Hayden Parker penalty extended the Highlanders lead to four but, 12 phases on from the restart, no 8 Gareth Delve surged to the edge of the 22 for the Rebels and they spread the ball wide before Vuna picked out Hegarty on the inside to score the try and complete a memorable win.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 20
The Sharks ran in ten tries as they registered a comprehensive 58-13 victory over the Kings in Durban on Saturday.
Western Force ran in three tries as they registered a shock 21-15 victory to thwart the Brumbies in Perth on Saturday.
The Reds produced a resilient performance to hold out against the Waratahs as they triumphed 14-12 in Sydney.