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RugbyU: Unconvincing Chiefs snap winless streak

Defending Super 15 champions Waikato Chiefs scrambled to an unconvincing 22-16 win over the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday at Waikato Stadium, their first victory in four games. After racing to a 19-0 lead in the opening 23 minutes, the Chiefs struggled for much of the remainder of the match as the Rebels fought back to being within a whisker of snatching an unlikely victory. There was only one try apiece, with victory ultimately determined by the boot of Gareth Anscombe who punished the Rebels with five penalties.

RugbyU: Highlanders down inconsistent Rebels

The Otago Highlanders held off a late fightback from the Melbourne Rebels for a gritty 33-30 win in Dunedin on Friday. Both sides scored three tries apiece but poor discipline cost the Rebels as they failed to build on last week's stunning win over the ACT Brumbies. "We've got to find a bit of consistency," Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham said. "Penalties are hurting us. We're getting down into the opposition 20 and losing the ball. It's disappointing, something we've got to work on."

RugbyU: Woodward points record as Rebels stun Brumbies

Fullback Jason Woodward scored a club record 27 points as the Melbourne Rebels upset Australian Super 15 conference leaders ACT Brumbies 32-24 on Friday. Woodward could do little wrong, amassing a try, two conversions and six penalties as the Rebels fought back from 10-3 down at halftime. The Brumbies, last season's Super Rugby finalists, could not handle the inspired Rebels in the second half as the home side surged to victory after trailing 17-6 in the 48th minute.

RugbyU: Rebels lose Sexton to knee injury

Australia's Melbourne Rebels have been dealt a major blow with news Friday that Irish recruit Tom Sexton is set to miss the entire 2014 Super Rugby season with a knee injury. The Melbourne-born hooker, who joined the Rebels from Leinster, injured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during the pre-season and is destined for a long stint on the sidelines, the club said. Rehabilitation from ACL surgery typically takes six to nine months for complete recovery.

RugbyU: Australia's O'Connor joins London Irish

English Premiership club London Irish on Tuesday confirmed that they have signed Australia back James O'Connor until the end of the season. O'Connor, who hopes to force his way back into the national squad, is in line to make his debut against Northampton on Sunday. "Having decided that I needed a change from both a personal and playing point of view, I spoke to clubs in Japan and France and concluded that the best way forward for my development was to move to England," said the 23-year-old.

RugbyU: Australia's O'Connor joins London Irish

English Premiership club London Irish on Tuesday confirmed that they have signed Australia back James O'Connor until the end of the season. O'Connor, who hopes to force his way back into the national squad, is in line to make his debut against Northampton on Sunday. "Having decided that I needed a change from both a personal and playing point of view, I spoke to clubs in Japan and France and concluded that the best way forward for my development was to move to England," said the 23-year-old.

RugbyU: Wallabies tear up O'Connor contract

Controversial winger James O'Connor was Thursday released from his Wallabies contract with immediate effect after a series of off-field incidents, capping a dramatic fall from grace for one of Australia's top rugby talents. The 23-year-old was dumped from the Australian team last month after he was prevented from taking a flight because he was allegedly drunk, hours after Australia beat Argentina in a Rugby Championship match in Perth.

RugbyU: Police eject 'drunk' Wallaby star from airport

Australia winger James O'Connor was embroiled in more controversy Thursday after reportedly being prevented from taking a flight because he was intoxicated. In the latest in a string of incidents involving the Wallaby star, the Australian Rugby Union said it was investigating what happened at Perth International airport early Sunday. "While ARU had not received any formal notification, complaints or reports from police, airline or security officials, ARU began an investigation into the alleged incident," a statement said. "The investigation is ongoing."

RugbyU: Wallaby O'Connor vows to change his ways

Controversial back James O'Connor said Monday he is prepared to change his ways to be part of the Wallabies set-up under new coach Ewen McKenzie. The 23-year-old, who is looking for a club after being dumped by the Melbourne Rebels, also said he was embracing the new team culture, ahead of Saturday's opening Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks in Sydney.

RugbyU: Rebels cut ties with Wallaby Beale

The Melbourne Rebels said Saturday they would not be extending controversial Wallaby Kurtley Beale's contract beyond the 2013 season, following the earlier dumping of friend James O'Connor. The Rebels said Beale would now leave the club following the Rebels' 38-37 Super Rugby win over the Otago Highlanders in the final match of the season in Melbourne on Friday. Beale becomes the second Wallaby to be cut from the Rebels following the Melbourne club's decision last weekend not to renew O'Connor's contract into next season.
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