Rebels edged out by Sharks

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd -

S T A R f i v e - e i g h t h Danny Cipri­ani was both hero and vil­lain as the Rebels fell to a thrilling 34-32 loss to the Sharks in their Su­per Rugby match in Mel­bourne last night.

The English im­port scored a bril­liant in­di­vid­ual try just af­ter half­time, show­ing all his skills as he cut a swath through the Sharks de­fence on his way to touch down.

But with the Sharks ahead 27-25 with only five min­utes re­main­ing, Cipri­ani chased down a ball near the try­line a n d , s w a m p e d b y S h a r k s d e f e n d e r s , bat­ted the ball back in­field for Myer Bos­man to score the eas­i­est of tries.

The Rebels showed their fight­ing spirit to hit back again with a try to Jar­rod Saffy in the 78th minute but even with Cipri­ani’s con­ver­sion they were short and the only re­ward for the home side was a bonus point.

And wors­en­ing their de­feat was the loss of s t a r f u l l b a c k M a r k Ger­rard with a dis­lo­cated shoul­der suf­fered early in the sec­ond half.

The Rebels, who are l o o k i n g t o r e p l i c a t e t h e i r S t o r m r u g b y l e a g ue c o unt e r p a r t s ’ f o r m i d a b l e h o m e ground record in Mel­bourne, looked on track for an­other up­set win at the ‘‘ Stock­ade’’.

The Sharks went into the match un­beaten and hav­ing not con­ceded a try in the open­ing three rounds of the competition. But the Rebels, who pipped the Brumbies at AAMI Park in round two, ig­nored that rep­u­ta­tion. They were in front un­til the 71st minu t e w h e n d y n a m i c S h a r k s N o . 8 R y a n Kankowski bar­relled across the try-line. That lev­elled scores at 25-25 b e f o r e f i v e - e i g h t h Pa­trick Lam­bie con­verted for a two-point lead.

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