Rebels stage second-half comeback to sprint away from Cheetahs
Melbourne Rebels put in a strong second-half performance to come from behind and earn a thumping 36-14 Super Rugby victory over the Cheetahs.
Trailing 14-10 at half-time, the Rebels ran in three tries in the second period to overturn their deficit, with the 36 points they scored the most they have ever registered against a South African side in Super Rugby.
Reece Hodge (twice), Lopeti Timani, Jonah Placid and Tamati Ellison touched down for the Rebels as they moved top of the Australian group, while Torsten van Jaarsveld and Clayton Blommetjies scored converted tries for the Cheetahs.
The Cheetahs came into the game with only two wins, but they hit their straps early on as Van Jaarsveld got over the line with Neil Marais converting and, after Hodge's first try was converted for the hosts to level at 7-7, Blommetjies ran in the visitors' second - again converted by Marais - to restore their lead at 14-7.
Jack Debreczeni's penalty shortly before the break reduced the Rebel's deficit to four points and that allowed them to launch a strong second-half comeback.
It did not take long after the restart for it to begin as Timani crossed.
Placid's try gave them some breathing space and then Hodge's second and Ellison's 45-metre run-in score secured a bonus-point try and meant they had scored 29 unanswered points.