Super Rugby

Melbourne Rebels beat Brumbies in Canberra




The Brumbies have played the Rebels 15 times in Super Rugby since 2011, winning nine and losing six.

There have been no draws between the two Super Rugby sides. The last two matches between them were both won by the Rebels.

  • The Rebels have won four of their last six games against the Brumbies, including their last two on the bounce; they had never previously strung consecutive wins together against the team from the nation’s capital.
  • The Brumbies have earned four wins in their last five games, more than they had accrued in their 14 games prior (W3, L11).
  • The Melbourne has won their season-opening fixture in five of their last six Super Rugby campaigns, their only blemish a 56-18 loss to the Blues in Round 1, 2017.
  • The ACT side had the worst goal-kicking success rate in Super Rugby last season, converting just 65% of their attempts; however, the Rebels sat only just ahead of them with a rate of 69%.
  • David Pocock (Brumbies) averaged 2.5 turnovers won per 80 minutes in Super Rugby last season, the best rate of anyone to play 200+ minutes.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kickoff.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Australia at GIO Stadium for the Brumbies and the Rebels.

2.00: A wonderful kick puts the home team on the front foot.

4.00: PENALTY! Christian Lealiifano puts the home team in front. 3-0

7.00: A bit of a messy start to the game by both teams.

9.00: David Pocock makes way for Pete Samu. It might be for a concussion.

10.00: It’s the return of Quade Cooper and Will Genia partnership at halfback, this time they rekindle their relationship with the Rebels in their 87th game, together.

13.00: TRY! Folau Fainga’a flops over the whitewash after a powerful driving maul by the Brumbies. It was low, tight and hard, and the Rebels could not do anything to stop the home team. 8-0

14.00: CONVERSION! Lealiifano makes no mistake. 10-0

16.00: TRY! Tom English almost botches an easy score, he is lifted in the tackle, but somehow manages to dot the ball down over the line. 10-5

17.00: MISS! The conversion is wide. 10-5

19.00: Both teams are looking to spread the ball wide; there is space on the outside, but this is something everybody knows already, especially with the Australian franchises.

22.00: TRY! Jack Maddocks scoops up a terrible kick from Irae Simone, inside his 22. Maddocks picked up the rolling ball and walked over for the score. What was Simone thinking?

23.00: CONVERSION! It’s good, and the visitors lead by two. 10-12

26.00: It’s not good news for Pocock, he’s failed his HIA and will be withdrawn from tonight’s proceedings.

28.00: TRY! Rory Arnold launches himself like a running back diving over the line of scrimmage in an NFL match. The score came from sustained pressure from the kick off after Maddocks’ try. 15-12

29.00: MISS! Another kick is wide. 15-12

33.00: TRY! Matt Phillip runs an angle, on the soft arm of Arnold, and crashes over from close range. There are lots of errors, but the points are piling up. 15-17

34.00: CONVERSION! Cooper adds the extras. 15-19

35.00: TRY! Allan Ala’alatoa goes low and gets the five-pointer. Another try coming from the kickoff and sustained pressure inside the 22. 20-19

36.00: CONVERSION! Lealiifano won’t miss from there. Brumbies lead… again. 22-19

38.00: Marika Koroibete takes Genia’s pass, but the try is called back for a knock on, or a forward pass. It’s very confusing because on another look, the pass from the scrumhalf is good, and there is no knock on.

40.00: The Brumbies survive the late surge, win a penalty and put the ball into the stands.

The halftime score was Brumbies 22 Rebels 19

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Canberra for the second half of this topsy turvy Aussie derby. 

42.00: Billy Meakes busts through two tackles, but is held up over the try line by some superb defending by the Brumbies.

43.00: Maddocks thinks he has a try, but Genia’s long skip-pass, on review by the TMO, is forward. No try!

47.00: Joe Powell clears the danger after some poor handling from the Rebels. The home side is playing in the stiff breeze, this half, so kicking – and passing, as Genia found out – is tough.

TRY! Anaru Rangi, like a steam train, takes out Powell, Lealiifano and Wharenui Hawera (all halfbacks), and crashes over the whitewash. The try was set up by another barnstorming run from Maddocks. 22-24

50.00: CONVERSION! Cooper extends the lead. 22-26

52.00: The Brumbies are making some changes to the front row, taking off Fainga’a and James Slipper.

57.00: The game has slowed, somewhat; the crowd has dropped out of the fixture since their team went behind.

59.00: The Rebels are having lineout troubles, losing two in a row on their own throw.

61.00: Oh dear, Irae Simone is having a mare, dropping an easy pass and gifting possession to the Rebels.

63.00: Melbourne gives away a good opportunity, on the Brumbies 5m by closing the gap in the lineout.

64.00: Tevita Kuridrani saves the day, ankle-tapping English, who thought he had another score. Instead, the centre left the ball behind as he slid towards the try line. Great work from the big man.

67.00: The home team wins a penalty, kicks to the corner, but they lose the ball with another errant lineout. That’s three on the trot, giving away a great chance to take the lead.

69.00: Rebels win a penalty, and Cooper calls for the tee.

70.00: PENALTY! Cooper uses the wind expertly and extends the Rebels advantage to seven. 22-29

71.00: Another penalty to Melbourne; Cooper wants another go at goal.

72.00: MISS! The kick doesn’t have the legs or the direction. Brumbies still have a chance, if they can win a lineout or get their hands on the ball. 22-29

73.00: TRY! Maddocks has a double, latching onto Meakes’ kick. It was like an outfield catch at the Adelaide Oval, caught in the air, then dotted down with aplomb. Genius wobbly box kick bamboozled Powell, which led to the rebels retaining possession and scoring the game-winning try. 22-34

74.00: MISS! Cooper cannot add the wide conversion attempt. 22-34

78.00: TRY! Sam Carter is over! The Brumbies have a lifeline. It comes from another driving maul, which seems to be their only weapon. 27-34

79.00: MISS! The kick is no good; it’ll have to be a converted try with 90 seconds to play if the home team wants to win. 27-34

80.00: The ball is booted into the stands and Cooper celebrates his long-awaited return to Australia with a W.


In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score is Brumbies 27 (22) Melbourne Rebels 34 (19)


Tries – Fainga’a, Arnold, Ala’alatoa, Carter
Pen – Lealiifano
Con – Lealiifano (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Melbourne Rebels
Tries – English, Maddocks (2), Philip, Rangi
Pen – Cooper
Con – Cooper (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Damon Murphy
TMO: James Leckie


Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Ala’alatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Peter Samu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Andy Muirhead.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Tetera Faulkner.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Semisi Tupou.

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