Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Blues Leave Rebels in Their Wake

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Blues Leave Rebels in Their Wake

Article excerpt

SUPER 15: Melbourne's travel woes continued as they fell to the high-flying Blues 40-23 on Good Friday in Auckland.

The Rebels have only managed one away win in their debut season and, despite an improved performance on last week's awful effort against the Highlanders, they couldn't match the Blues.

Melbourne suffered another disruption to their preparation when in-form centre Mark Gerrard suffered a hamstring problem during their final training run, forcing a backline reshuffle.

They got to within five points, trailing 28-23, before a try by Blues centre Jared Payne in the 74th minute sealed the result.

The boot of Stephen Brett, replacing regular Blues five-eighth Luke McAlister in the starting side, almost cost his side the game, missing 14 points worth of conversions and penalties before McAlister entered the fray.

Two tries by electric winger Rene Ranger, in the third and 13th minutes, put the visitors on the back foot early.

He showed his range of skills in his second try when he toed ahead a ball after a break by halfback Alby Mathewson, beating Melbourne's Gareth Delve and Nick Phipps on this way to the line. …

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