Super Rugby: Melbourne Rebels cause upset in Tokyo with bonus point victory over Sunwolves

The Melbourne Rebels have defeated home side, the Sunwolves, in Tokyo 35-9
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    Rebels players celebrate after Ben Meehan scored a try. Reuters/Thomas Peter
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    Sunwolves' Riaan Viljoen tackles Rebels' Nic Stirzaker Reuters/Thomas Peter
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    Rebels' Lopeti Timani in action Reuters/Thomas Peter
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The Melbourne Rebels have claimed their third victory of the season, winning 35-9 over the new kids on the block, the Sunwolves, on Saturday. The Rebels were the first Australian rugby side to take on the Sunwolves, who are new to the Super Rugby this year, at Chichibu Memorial Stadium. 

Down after two minutes of play when Sunwolves' Tusi Pisi successfully converted a penalty from 40 metres out, giving the home side a 3-0 advantage early on, the Rebels played an especially impressive second half to gain momentum and put 19 points on the score board, allowing them to steal the victory.

Ben Meehan scored next to the posts to take the score 16-9 after Jonah Placid dummied to storm through the Sunwolves' inside defence before offloading.

In the 56th minute, a set play from the Rebels, ending in some quick hands from fly half Jack Debreczeni, sent Tom English through a gap and over the line after an impressive 30 metre dash. Meehan picked up a loose ball inside the attacking 22 in the 69th minute, resulting in Sean McMahon crashing over the line for the final try of the game.

Rebels fly half Jack Debreczeni had an outstanding kicking game, converting 3/3 penalties and 2/3 conversions to contribute 13 points to the visiting sides score.

"The first half was very hotly contested, they came out firing" Debreczeni said after landing back in Melbourne on Sunday. "They play a fast paced game so we knew we'd have to be prepared to work hard in the first 20 minutes.

"We've been working on our second half because of our slow starts previously but it was good to keep pressure on and get points on the board, our set piece was great".

Captain Nic Stirzaker came on during the second half after being out injured since the start of the season.

"[Stirzaker] played his 40th game so it was good to get him back out there on the field. He's had a lot of time on the sideline," Debreczeni added. "He's been a great support for the team and hopefully he continues to improve

The Rebels take on last year's grand final winners, New Zealand's Highlanders, next week at AAMI Park, with the Highlanders sure to challenge the Rebels' two consecutive wins.