Rebels' Hodge puts pressure kick over to seal rare draw


DURBAN (Reuters) - Reece Hodge kicked a penalty on the stroke of fulltime to earn the Melbourne Rebels a 9-9 away draw against the Sharks in an error-ridden Super Rugby clash on Saturday.

Hodge had a pressure kick from around 30 metres out but knocked it over with precision to hand the Rebels a rare draw in a tryless game characterised by poor handling, passing and sloppy turnovers.

The Sharks, forced to play with 14 men after the early sending-off of centre Andre Esterhuizen, looked to have wrapped up a narrow win two minutes from time when Curwin Bosch kicked a penalty that put them ahead for the first time.

But as they were running down the clock, a scrum infringement handed the Australian visitors, who have never won a Super Rugby match in South Africa, the chance to tie up the game which Hodge gratefully accepted.

Two first-half penalties from fullback Hodge put the Rebels 6-3 ahead at the break but Bosch, having missed two easy penalties, got his side back level and then put them ahead in the dying minutes.

Esterhuizen was sent off for a spear tackle after 17 minutes, but the Rebels also had their captain Nic Stirzaker red-carded near the end after receiving a second yellow for slapping down the ball.


(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Port Elizabeth; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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