Belfast Telegraph

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Beale injury adds to Rebels woe

Wallabies star Kurtley Beale was injured as the Melbourne Rebels were defeated 66-24 by the Hurricanes.

Beale left the field with what appeared to be an arm or shoulder injury, which would be of big concern for Australia coach Robbie Deans with his stocks in the back line already depleted.

Julian Savea scored a hat-trick for the Hurricanes as they outscored the Rebels nine tries to three. Andre Taylor and Alapati Leiua crossed twice apiece and Jack Lam and Chris Eaton also got on the scoresheet.

Beauden Barrett had an excellent night with his goal-kicking, landing all nine conversions and a penalty as the Hurricanes recorded their highest score in Super Rugby.

Cooper Vuna bagged a double for the outgunned Rebels and Adam Freier scored at the death but injuries to Beale, Mark Gerrard and Lachlan Mitchell, who was taken off on a stretcher after a massive, legal tackle from substitute hooker Motu Matu'u, added further woe for coach Damien Hill.

It was another slow start by the Hurricanes, who found themselves trailing after just eight minutes following Vuna's powerful run to the line. But they responded the only way they know how and again TJ Perenara, Barrett and Tim Bateman were to the fore as first Taylor and then Leiua crossed to put the home side in front.

The Rebels were under all sorts of pressure - twice they coughed up possession and twice Savea dotted down to make it 31-10. Against the run of play Vuna scored an intercept try, which Beale converted, but it was a rare positive moment for the visitors.

Instead, the continuous pressure the Hurricanes were applying resulted in a fifth try, this time Lam forcing his way over to give the home side a 38-17 lead at the break. Three minutes after the restart and Leiua was over again and Barrett's sixth conversion extended that lead to 45-17.

A raft of substitutions by both sides halted the game's momentum. It was the Hurricanes who found their rhythm again quickest and in the 53rd minute Savea wrapped up his hat-trick after substitute Jayden Hayward put Taylor into space and he found the left winger on his outside.

Three minutes later and Taylor completed his double as the Hurricanes continued to rip the Rebels defence to shreds. Chris Eaton's score took Mark Hammett's men past their previous highest score of 64-32, which came against the Bulls (as Northern Transvaal) in 1997, before Freier grabbed a late consolation for the Rebels.


From Belfast Telegraph