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Rebels shock Brumbies in the wet

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7th August, 2020
31

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.

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 To’omua and Andrew Deegan playing smart wet-weather rugby in Sydney, the Rebels were in full control throughout while the Brumbies were uncharacteristically poor.

Rebels captain To’omua said his team kept it simple in the tough conditions to deliver a dominant performance.

“It really was – it started physically,” To’omua told Fox Sports.

“We were a little bit scrappy in the second half but it didn’t matter because our lineout was good, our pressure off the line was good, our shots were good and we felt good.

“It’s a simple game when you win the contact.”

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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 lineout, with halfback Joe Powell scooting across the try line.

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.

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.

Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa said his team’s kicking game let them down, with five-eighth Bayley Kuenzle yanked after 44 minutes.

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“They stayed on top of us well,” the Test prop said.

“They kept putting balls in the corner and keeping us in our end and we struggled to get out and they capitalised on that.”

The Brumbies next have the bye while the Rebels play the Reds.

© AAP