Super Rugby
Improving Rebels rout Tonga
ESPNscrum Staff
January 21, 2011
Melbourne Rebels No.8 Gareth Delve congratulates Nick Phipps on a try, Melbourne Rebels v Tonga, Latrobe City Sports and Entertainment Centre, Morwell, Australia, January 21, 2010
Gareth Delve congratulates Nick Phipps on his try © Getty Images

The Melbourne Rebels continued their positive start to pre-season with a thumping 54-0 victory over Tonga in Morwell on Friday.

Super Rugby's new boys opened their account with a 43-13 victory over the same opponents last weekend and will be growing in confidence prior to further trial matches against Fiji and the Crusaders in coming weeks.

A brace from Cooper Vuna, to add to his hat-trick from last time out, as well as further five-pointers from Laurie Weeks, Jarrod Saffy, Tim Davidson, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Nick Phipps and Chris Slade helped the Rebels across the line, with former England fly-half Danny Cipriani landing five conversions.

"We were looking to try a few different things, and a lot of those came off tonight. Overall, we're happy with the performance, considering it was the second trial," head coach Rod Macqueen said.

"All in all I'd have to be happy with where we are but it's important to keep things in perspective and understand we're about to enter into one of the hardest competitions in world rugby and if we play like we are now, we wouldn't be successful."

The Rebels will play their first Super Rugby fixture against the Waratahs on February 18.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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