Rebels shock Brumbies

The Rebels ended the Brumbies' 11-match winning streak in Canberra with a 13-8 victory, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.

It was the Rebels' first win in Australia's capital in five attempts having lost the previous four matches by big margins.

After winning four of their first five games of the season, the Brumbies have now lost three of their last four. Steven Larkham's men are now just three log points ahead of the Waratahs, who beat the table-topping Hurricanes in Wellington earlier in the day.

The Rebels were full value for their victory, racing into an early 10-0 lead thanks to a penalty from Mike Harris and a Sefenaia Naivalu try. The latter came from a retreating Rebels scrum, with Nic Stirzaker breaking away and finding Naivalu, who thew a dummy and cut back inside to score.

Apart from that scrum, the Rebels dominated their opponents up front, as well as at the breakdown. The wet conditions resulted in a lot of kicking from both sides, with the visitors being more accurate in this department.

The Rebels extended their lead when Harris kicked another penalty, but the fullback missed with his next attempt.

The Brumbies then scored a try 90 seconds after the half-time hooter, when a patient 18-phase buildup saw Henry Speight go over in the right-hand corner. While Christian Lealiifano missed the conversion, his side were back in the game.

Harris missed another penalty early in the second half, as the rain became heavier, with Christian Lealiifano making it 13-8 with his first penalty. The Brumbies, though, would have been disappointed not to come away with a try from that attack, as David Pocock was brought to ground just short of the line after a good driving maul.

Jack Debreczeni had the distance but not the direction with a long-range penalty for the Rebels. The Brumbies then turned down a shot at goal and kicked for the corner, with six minutes to go, only to concede a penalty inside the Rebels 22.

Two reset scrums allowed the Rebels to wind down the clock at the end, and they happily carried the ball into touch.

Brumbies – Try: Henry Speight. Penalty: Christian Lealiifano.
Rebels – Try: Sefenaia Naivalu. Conversion: Mike Harris. Penalties: Harris (2).

Brumbies – 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Lausii Taliauli, 13 Henry Speight, 12 Nigel Ah Wong, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Michael Dowsett, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Ita Vaea, 21 Jordan Smiler, 22 Nic White, 23 Rodney Iona.

Rebels – 15 Mike Harris, 14 Tom English, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Sefanaia Naivalu, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Lopeti Timani, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Tom Sexton, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tim Metcher, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga'a, 21 Jordy Reid, 22 Luke Burgess, 23 Bryce Hegart.

Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Post by

Simon Borchardt