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Brumbies consign Rebels to ninth-straight defeat despite triple sin-binning

By AAP
Tom Wright. (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Winger Tom Wright collected a double among the Brumbies’ haul of six as they continued the Super Rugby Pacific misery for Melbourne with a thumping 36-17 victory at AAMI Park.

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The Brumbies had four tries before the Rebels scored their first on Friday night to continue their unbeaten start from four games.

Melbourne remain winless – the loss their ninth in succession dating back to last season – in an alarming form slump.

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said he couldn’t complain about the six tries to two victory, nor their early ladder position.

“We don’t want to be at the peak of our game at the moment but what I’m liking is that we’re learning and building and getting better every week,” he said.

“We knew they’d bring plenty of intent and I was really pleased with how we defended.

“It was 15 minutes until we touched the ball and then we put a couple of tries together and I was pleased with how we defended our goal line.”

Newly re-signed Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway, who had an off-season foot injury, made his first Rebels appearance but he was given few opportunities in their disjointed attack.

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They had plenty of ball and territory early in the first half but too often were let down by poor execution.

The Brumbies, meanwhile, made the most of their chances with burly flanker Rob Valetini beating two men and dragging another two across the line for his third try of the season.

The score was 12-0 after 26 minutes when centre Len Ikitau benefited from some good lead-up work by Jesse Mogg and Tom Banks, and flimsy Rebels defence.

The home side wasn’t helped when they lost Glen Vaihu to a yellow card after the young winger took out the legs of a leaping Banks.

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While he was off Wright scored the first of his two tries, coming off a floating Nic White pass with the Brumbies taking a 17-3 lead into halftime.

That blew out by another five points at the 42-minute mark after Banks made a long-range break and then kicked ahead with the ball bouncing away from Matt To’omua, with Wright pouncing on his second.

Flanker Jahrome Brown was another to find easy passage to the line.

The Rebels delivered their best try of the season in the 62nd minute, with fleet-footed centre Ray Nu’u sparking the attack before reserve flanker Richard Hardwick found the tryline.

But the Brumbies had the last say, with in-form Banks collecting a perfectly timed pass from James Slipper and charging ahead to score their sixth of the night.

Melbourne coach Kevin Foote said he felt his team started well, although didn’t get the pay they required for their efforts.

“Our attack is coming but our defence upset me a little bit – our first-time tackles aren’t sticking and guys are scoring too easily,” Foote said.

“There’s some definite signs of improvement and some senior guys came back this week which helped with our confidence in difficult times.”

– Melissa Woods

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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