Brumbies extend home winning streak after defeating Melbourne Rebels

Michael Djordjieski 10 February 2020
Brumbies celebrate

The Brumbies celebrate a try in Friday nights win over the Melbourne Rebels. Photos: Jayzie Photography.

The Brumbies secured a 10th straight win at GIO Stadium following their 39-26 victory over the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night.

Victory also saw the hosts end a four-game losing streak against the Melbourne outfit.

Dan McKellar’s team blew the Rebels out of the water by establishing a 24-0 lead before the half-hour mark and from that moment the visitors were playing catch up all evening.

The hosts found the try line on six occasions courtesy of Irae Simone, Tom Banks, Tom Cusack, Solomone Kata, Folau Fainga’a and Tom Wright, while the travellers scored three of their four tries in the second period.

With back-to-back victories to start the season, McKellar noticed his men are showing improvements and that momentum is on their side.

“It’s been a good start,” McKellar said. “We are at home and we knew it was important having the first three games at home just before we go to Hamilton and have a week off.

“We just have to keep building momentum, pleased with the outcome last week, but tonight there was a lot to like about the performance as well. I thought we scored some really nice tries and played some smart football at times.”

Brumbies win against the Rebels

The Brumbies proved to be too strong for the Rebels at GIO Stadium.

Now two from two to start the 2020 campaign against Australian opposition, the Brumbies will look to make it a hat-trick of wins and 11 straight at home when they entertain New Zealand outfit the Highlanders next Saturday night.

“Get out and about, get out here and enjoy the momentum we are building and watch some exciting young talents. They are the future of this club and Australian rugby,” McKellar said.

Fives minutes is all it took for the Brumbies’ early onslaught to take off when Simone danced his way through the Rebels defence to give the home side a 7-0 advantage.

It was try-time again seven minutes later when fly-half Noah Lolesio produced a magnificent pass for Banks to score in fine fashion.

Simone would then turn provider after solid work from Kata allowed the 24-year-old to feed Cusack, who dived over the try line to the delight of the Brumbies faithful.

When Rebels coach David Wessels thought proceedings could not get any worse, Lolesio put in a fantastic grubber kick in-behind the Melbourne defence that saw Kata capitalise on the ball to cross over and make it 24-0 in the 28th minute.

Solomone Kata

Solomone Kata scoring in the corner.

With half-time approaching, the visiting outfit had finally got themselves on the scoreboard after Angus Cottrell barged his way over the Brumbies’ defensive line.

Two minutes removed from the half-time break and Cottrell raised some slight concerns around GIO stadium when he bagged his second try of the game to reduce the deficit to 24-14.

The Brumbies would regain control of the encounter after a line-out which resulted in a great passage of play down the short side resulting in Fainga’a crossing the white line in the corner to stretch the host’s margin.

Due to some quick thinking by the visitors, Rebels Captain and fullback Dane Haylett-Petty split through the home team’s defence to score and take it to 31-21.

Tom Banks

Brumbies full-back Tom Banks planting the ball down to score.

Any chance of a comeback for the Rebels was dealt a massive blow in the 68th minute when the Brumbies executed another grubber kick which saw Wright capture the ball and plant it for another five pointer.

The Rebels had the last say of the match when they spread the ball wide quickly to catch out the opposition for Frank Lomani to score a consolation try, but ultimately the Brumbies captured the 39-26 win.

Brumbies 39-26 Melbourne Rebels

Brumbies tries: Simone, Banks, Cusack, Kate, Fainga’a, Wright. Conversions: Lolesio (3).

Rebels tries: Cottrell (2), Haylett-Petty, Lomani. Conversions: Toomua, Lomani (2).

Brumbies: 1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Murray Douglas, 5. Cadeyrn Neville, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Tom Wright, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks

Substitutions: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Harry Lloyd, 18 James Slipper, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Will Miller, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Bayley Kuenzle, 23 Andy Muirhead.

Rebels: 1. Matt Gibbon, 2. Anaru Rangi, 3. Ruan Smith, 4. Ross Haylett-Petty, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Angus Cottrell, 7. Michael Wells, 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Andrew Kellaway, 12. Billy Meakes, 13. Reece Hodge, 14. Marika Koroibete, 15. Dane Haylett-Petty.

Substitutions: 16. Steve Misa, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Gideon Koegelenberg, 20. Rob Leota, 21. Richard Hardwick, 22. Ryan Louwrens, 23. Campbell Magnay

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