Rebels skipper praises Waratahs for their effort

Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham has paid credit to the Waratahs after they beat his team 28-38 at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Higginbotham scored the Rebels opening try before the Waratahs hit back and they started to pull away in the first half.

Rebels lock Lopeti Timani followed up last week’s try with another this week just before half time which brought the home side to within 2 points at the break.

Shortly after the break Taqele Naiyaravoro scored the first of his two tries which gave the Waratahs some breathing space.

The Rebels hit back with a try from Luke Burgess but then Naiyaravoro went over for his second.

As the match continued the Waratahs scrum struggled against the Rebel scrum and repeatedly handed the home side penalties.

When the Rebels launched an attack down the wing Naiyaravoro raced for the ball and intentionally pushed it into touch which earned him a yellow card and ten minutes on the sideline.

The Rebels immediately used the numbers advantage by drawing the Waratahs defence to one side of the field before Mike Harris sent a wide ball out to Sefanaia Naivalu who scored the Rebels bonus point try and the converison levelled the scores at 28 all.

However while the Waratahs still had 14 players on the field Bernard Foley made a break and sent Kurtley Beale in for the decisive try of the match.

A late penalty for a tackle without arms allowed Foley to kick a final penalty which cost the Rebels a losing bonus point.

“That was a tough game, we knew it was going to be and credit to the Tahs, they hung in and really put it on us at the back end,” said Higginbotham.

“Coming up against a big forward pack like the Tahs you have to make your tackles and there were a few we missed.”

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