The NSW Waratahs, featuring current UNSW students Ned Hanigan (Science) and James Ramm (Engineering), came away with the win, but now have a nervous wait to see if they will qualify for the finals with a bye to finish the regular season next weekend. 

While the loss was hard to take for the Melbourne Rebels, which includes former UNSW students Andrew Deegan and Andrew Kellaway, the bonus point offered a rallying point for the team, who can jump over the Waratahs to claim a finals place with a win over the Western Force next weekend. 

After the Rebels' Matt To'omua kicked a penalty in the 77th minute, the team was able to finish within seven points of the Waratahs, giving them a losing bonus point.

So now the equation is simple: the Rebels only need a four-point win over the bottom of the ladder Force to steal third place on the ladder and make their way into the finals.

The game was intense from start to finish, with the Waratahs charging down one of Deegan's kicks to score at a crucial moment, while earlier Hanigan was given a yellow card after his team gave away three penalties on their own line.

It has been an exciting season of the newly formed Super Rugby AU, after the regular Super Rugby season had to be abandoned when Covid restrictions put an end to international travel. 

The Brumbies have emerged as the clear front runners and will progress straight to the grand final as favourites. The Reds have also secured a finals place and will play a qualifying final against either the Waratahs or Rebels on 12 September, with the winner to play the Brumbies on 19 September.

The UNSW Elite Athlete Program is highly important in supporting our Super Rugby stars and allows them to travel, play and train while balancing the demands of study through specialised athlete support.