Rebels vs Sharks: Five things we learned

A second half surge was enough to keep the Sharks at bay for the Rebels, as they claimed another bonus point win.

Here’s what we learned from the 46-14 result.

1. Meakes makes his mark

Billy Meakes was handed his first start of the season and his partnership with Reece Hodge looks to be Melbourne’s best combination.

Tom English may struggle to force his way back into the 23 as Meakes starred at inside centre – amassing 65 metres, eight tackle busts, three line breaks and scoring a try with his 13 runs.His kicking in play added another layer to an already airborne Melbourne attack, too.

The inside centre gig is now his to lose.

2. Faingaa flourishes

Colby Faingaa was also afforded his first chance to start and while he didn’t catch the eye like Meakes, he will also be tough to displace based on his performance.

Coach Dave Wessels hasn’t deployed a pure fetcher in any of Melbourne’s four matches prior to this clash and Faingaa is a superb ace to have up the sleeve.

There was one clean turnover and a penalty won at the defensive breakdown but his constant presence was a nuisance for Sharks players all night long.

3. Bountiful bonus points

Four wins, four bonus points for the Rebels so far this season.

That’s a full extra win which will be worth its weight in gold come the end of the season.

Melbourne are still working out some kinks but their attack can put big margins on opposition sides and that’s the sign of a contender.

4. Rangi throws hat in ring

Anaru Rangi is deputising for Jordan Uelese – who is due back from a hamstring complaint this time next week – but he has starred for Melbourne.

His lineout throwing needs work but he loves the tough stuff and has a significant impact on the team’s intensity with his big hits and determined carries.

5. Scrum still of concern

The Rebels’ scrum was exposed by the Waratahs and while it didn’t hurt them on Friday, the Sharks still had complete control in that department.

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It will become more of as the season progresses and must be addressed if the Rebels are to be a player come finals time.

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