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Rebels shock Brumbies in Super Rugby AU

By AAP
Melboure Rebels shock Brumbies

Melbourne have blown the Super Rugby AU competition wide open after handing the Brumbies their first defeat of the season in a thumping 30-12 victory.

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The Brumbies arrived for their Friday night clash at Leichhardt Stadium with a commanding seven-point lead at the top of the Super Rugby AU ladder, but left shell-shocked.

With playmakers Matt Toomua and Andrew Deegan playing smart wet-weather rugby in Sydney, the Rebels were in full control throughout while the Brumbies were uncharacteristically poor.

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar and vice captain Tom Cusack on Rebels

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar and vice captain Tom Cusack on Rebels

Fullback Reece Hodge showed their intent when he scored the first of his two tries in the third minute as they shifted the ball wide.

The lead was extended to 12-0 when Marika Koroibete kicked a loose ball ahead and raced Andy Muirhead downfield with the Brumbies winger failing to pick it up in the greasy conditions before Koroibete managed to offload to flanker Brad Wilkin.

Some rare joy of the night for the Canberra team came two minutes later when they mauled the ball off an attacking line-out, with halfback Joe Powell scooting across the tryline.

But the Rebels were up for the fight and responded soon after through Hodge’s second and they were out to 27-7 by halftime.

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The Brumbies had to toil a man down when flanker Tom Cusack was yellow-carded for repeated infringements right on halftime but their defence at least held firm in his absence.

They can take heart that they limited Melbourne to a sole penalty kick in the second half despite plenty of pressure and managed a late try through Will Miller.

Both teams finished with some injury concerns with Brumbies prop Scott Sio limping off, as did Rebels backrower Rob Leota, while Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese and Brumbies prop Tom Ross both suffered head knocks.

The Brumbies were the form team in the competition, so this result changes the entire dynamic of the competition.

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M
Mzilikazi 3 hours ago
Daugunu salvo shows why Wallabies work-rate is everything to Schmidt

Nice article, Brett, and good to be writing about a second win. I think Georgia will be far more testing. Tbh, I have not looked at their touring squad, but at full strength they are a far better and more dangerous team than they were at RWC France. They would have been disappointed they did not perform to full potential there. I think that the WB’s under Joe Schmidt have started soundly. Recovery from a serious setback always takes time. And the Jones era was that and more. I think the arrival of Les Kiss back to his native Qld. is a very positive factor, and the fact that he and Schmidt know each other well is a help. Players I think are much improved this year: Daugunu, who has blossomed with the Rebels, so credit to the coaching unit down there. Am pleased he will come back to the Reds. McReight is said to have put on up to 7 kgs since last season. His work rate has always been good, but it is his carrying into contact that has gone up. Now makes those critical one or two metres post contact very often. Is conceding fewer penalties now as his game matures. Rob Valetini was good last year, but is now a greater force this one. A really punishing ball carrier. Hunter Paisami is now a more controlled player. His carrying into contact is very impressive for an 80 kg man. Interestingly, if you saw Nick Bishops latest article, he has a team for RC with Kerevi at 12. Also Skelton in the team. Not sure if there will be o’seas players as early as RC though….but need them in by the EYOT games.

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