The Brumbies battered the Melbourne Rebels 39-26 with a dominant display of pace, power and precision at GIO Stadium, Canberra.
Another commanding victory makes it 10 on the trot at home for Dan McKellar’s charges going back to last season, ending a four-game losing streak against Melbourne.
Noah Lolesio, kicking at 50 per cent, and a late Rebels try, gave the scoreboard a respectable look.
The home team outscored their fellow Australians six tries to four, although, the margin of victory is a moot point as they let the Rebels back into the game when it was already over.
Credit to the visitors for staying in the game, twice reducing the gap to 10 points before the Brumbies once again pulled away.
The hosts chalked up four first-half tries through Irae Simone, Tom Banks, Tom Cusack and Solomone Kata, killing the game as a contest before the break, as the Rebels crumbled.
Angus Cottrell scored twice, inside four minutes either side of halftime, to make it 24-14 early in the second stanza to keep his side in the match.
But second-half tries from Folau Fainga’a and Tom Wright, and a drop-goal from Lolesio sandwiched Dane Haylett-Petty’s 59th-minute try as McKeller’s men stayed well ahead.
It kept the Brumbies three scores in front of the opposition with the clock ticking down.
Frank Lomani scored a late consolation which took a bonus-point off the board.
Brumbies open up early lead as Rebels ill-discipline and set-piece founder
The home team raced to a 14-nil lead inside the opening quarter of an hour thanks to a dominant scrum and Melbourne leaking penalties at the set-piece and breakdown.
Simone and Banks both finished off slick backline moves to give their team a fast start to the Aussie derby.
The Brumbies pack set-up the tries thanks to their dominance, winning multiple penalties in the tight as well as loose phases.
The backs incisive, breaking the advantage line time and again, turning pressure into points with clinical finishing.
Simone ghosted inside Lomani’s tackle to score under the posts in the fifth minute before Banks did the same, seven minutes later.
The first try came from a couple of scrum penalties, while the second came from the Rebels collapsing the driving maul.
Lolesio drifted wide before offloading a sublime chicken-wing pass to Banks, who cut inside and ran around to dot down under the sticks.
The standoff made no mistake with either conversion.
Cusack finished off a slick move after Kata bounced Reece Hodge and played an inside pass to Simone.
The centre drew a defender and popped a pass to the flanker, on the outside channel, who sped away and scored.
Kata also got in on the act after Pete Samu’s barnstorming midfield break after the number eight was not held in the tackle.
Samu released the ball, picked it up, and broke from just outside his 22 all the way to the opposition’s 10m before playing Joe Powell in support.
Powell cut inside, was tackled in the 22 by Matt Toomua; however, the pack recycled to Lolesio.
The 20-year-old playmaker put in a deft grubber to find Kata on the touchline to score.
Rebels hit back through Cottrell either side of the interval
The visitors fought back with two scores, before and after halftime, to reduce the deficit to 10 points.
Both tries came from close range after the Brumbies shipped penalties of their own.
The 30-year-old’s first came in the 38th-minute after a powerful run, his second two minutes after the restart.
Anaru Rangi won an earlier turnover to set-up the attack. The Rebels drove towards the goal-line and Isi Naisarani and Rangi both helped drive Cottrell over the whitewash.
The loose forward left the field soon afterwards.
Dave Wessels’ men started to find their groove, but handling mistakes and more costly ill-discipline stalled their momentum.
Fainga’a continued his try-scoring streak with his second of the season after a smart lineout move involving skipper Allan Alaalatoa at the front of the set-piece.
Ross Haylett-Petty gave away a silly penalty when his side had possession, which led to Banks setting up an attacking lineout close to Melbourne’s try-line.
Rangi thought he had scored, but his try was chalked off for truck and trailer.
The Rebels did strike two minutes later, though, through Dane Haylett-Petty.
The fullback ghosted past Lolesio, slipped Murray Douglas’ weak tackle and beat Simone to reduce the deficit on the hour.
Lomani’s conversion brought the scores back to within 10 points in the final quarter.
Brumbies pull away and seal the deal
Despite the valiant fightback, time was not on Melbourne’s side and they continued to ship turnovers that turned into points.
Lolesio kicked the 66th-minute drop-kick after an eight-phase attack stalled before Wright scored in the corner, four minutes later.
Wright latched onto Simone’s accurate grubber, fought off Dane Haylett-Petty, and scored by the flag.
Lomani’s 78th-minute score gave the scoreline a flattering look; however, it did chalk off the Brumbies bonus-point.
Final Score: Brumbies 39 (24) Rebels 26 (7)
Tries – Simone, Banks, Cusack, Kata, Fainga’a, Wright
Con – Lolesio (3)
Drop – Lolesio
Tries – Cottrell (2), D. Haylett-Petty, Lomani
Con – Toomua, Lomani (2)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Ian Smith
15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Caderyn Neville, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 James Slipper, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Will Miller, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Andy Muirhead.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Wells, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Matt Gibbon.
Replacements: 16 Steve Misa, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Gideon Koelenberg, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Ryan Louwrens, 23 Campbell Magnay.