Melbourne Rebels surge home against Brumbies - Green and Gold Rugby
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Melbourne Rebels surge home against Brumbies

Melbourne Rebels surge home against Brumbies

Despite conceding a host of penalties and two yellow cards, The Melbourne Rebels earned their third win of the season against a disappointing A.C.T. Brumbies at AAMI Park.

With both sides making several changes to their previous week’s line-ups, most of the pre-game discussion focused on whether the Brumbies would overpower the Rebels forwards. No two teams have more contrasting styles than these. The Brumbies basing their game around winning penalties and using their lineout, scrum, and maul to smash their opponents. It makes for an interesting match up against the Melbourne Rebels who like to play a flat, high tempo attacking game.


The opening fifteen minutes of the game was quite an arm wrestle. The Rebels had the first opportunity for points with a very kickable penalty. They opted to go for touch instead but lost the ball in the maul thanks to some good work from David Pocock. Many people expected the Brumby scrum to dominate the Rebels relatively inexperienced front row but the first exchanges proved to be quite even.

A good break from Tom Banks lead to the first in a succession of penalties to the visitors. Unexpectedly, the Brumbies elected to scrum instead of their go to play of a line out and maul. From the back of the third consecutive scrum, Joe Powell threw a beautiful long pass to Henry Speight on the right wing who scored in the corner with a brilliantly athletic finish. Christian Leali’ifano’s sideline conversion put the visitors out to a seven point lead after 18 minutes.

The Rebels’ first points came at around the 28 minute mark of the half with a penalty goal from Quade Cooper.

Just a few minutes later the Brumbies benefited from another penalty and kick to touch. Referee, AJ Jacobs called a number of offside penalty advantages until eventually he stops the play to present a yellow card to Adam Coleman. Of course, the Brumbies kick to touch and set up a rolling maul. This time successfully with Hooker, Folou Fainga’a crossing the chalk. Leali’ifano missed the conversion but with six minutes left in the half the Brumbies were out to a 3-12 lead.

With time up on the clock the Brumbies found themselves with another penalty, this time for Rob Leota not rolling away from the ruck. From the resulting lineout and maul, Matt Gibbon blatently came from the side to rip the ball from Fainga’a to earn a second yellow card and a penalty try to the Brumbies. With no conversion required the half time score was out to 3-19 with the Rebels to play the first ten minutes of the second half a man down.


The start of the second half did not follow the expected script. Sam Carter spilled the kick off allowing the thirteen man Rebels to attack the Brumbies’ line. Under penalty advantage, Quade Cooper threw a long, looping pass to Marika Koroibete on the right wing. Koroibete smashed his way through several would-be defenders to score a great try and pump up the local crowd. Cooper’s conversion attempt missed but the margin was down to eleven points.

Eleven minutes into the half the Rebels are back to a full contingent and have an attacking scrum well inside the Brumbies 22 metre line. A powerful run from Dane Haylett-Petty and a quick recycle allowed Will Genia to find Jack Maddocks with a long pass. Maddocks ran the ball close to the uprights before dotting down for five points. An accurate conversion from Cooper brought the margin back to just four points with plenty of time remaining.

Just inside the sixty minute mark the Brumbies hit back. Mr. Jacob whistled play to stop and send Adam Coleman off for a head injury assessment after seeing him cop a knock in a heavy contact with James Slipper. From the restart, Pete Samu broke from the scrum to charge toward the line. Powell found the hard working Rob Valetini who crashed over for a try. Valetini had moments earlier lost the ball short of the line and certainly deserved this five points. Leali’ifano’s conversion pushed the score back out to eleven points with less than twenty minutes remaining.

The Rebels came close to scoring immediately from the kick off but Anaru Rangi was turned on his back and held the ball up over the line. The relief for the Brumbies was short lived though. The Rebels earned a penalty from the resultant scrum. Genia took a quick tap, made a great step off his right foot and placed the ball down under the posts. Cooper’s conversion saw the margin reduced back to four points, 27-26 with fifteen minutes left to play.

The Rebels were not finished yet though. They hammered the Brumbies line for several phases, earning three penalty advantages in the process. Similar to his first half ball to Koroibete, Cooper threw another long pass, this time finding Maddocks on the right wing. Maddocks scored his second of the night and his sixth in four games against the Brumbies. Cooper’s conversion went through, off the post, and the Rebels had hit the front for the first time in the match.

That was to be the final score of the match. The game ending with Will Genia booting the ball into touch with the Rebels deep in Brumbies territory. Final score 29-26.


No doubt, the Rebels were lucky to win this one. They hurt themselves badly throughout the first half with poor discipline and cruelled their chances by giving up a string of turnovers. The second half was a different story altogether. Things started to click for the home side. The forwards gradually got on top of their Brumby counterparts and the 9-10-12 combination of Genia, Cooper, and Meakes began finding holes in the Brumbies defense. As a Rebels supporter I was very pleased to see the team play so poorly for half the game and still be able to find a way to win in the end. Good teams find a way to win, even when things aren’t going their way.

The Brumbies lost this game in the first half by not scoring more when they had the chance. By half time they probably should have been at least another seven points ahead. The Brumbies played like a one-dimensional outfit with a simple but reliable plan… Win a penalty, kick to the corner, maul – or scrum. Is that plan going to yield enough points to win them more games than they lose? They were unable to put enough points on the Rebels to win, even with a numerical advantage for twenty straight minutes.

What happened to the Brumbies side of three weeks ago, the one that put the Chiefs to the sword? The creativity and attacking flair that they demonstrated in that game was nowhere to be seen last night.

The Game Changer

I thought the instant Sam Carter dropped the restart kick straight after half time was a big moment. It lead to a thirteen man Rebels team scoring and grabbing some belief and momentum.


Will Genia seemed to take it upon himself to step up and win this game for his team and he played like a man possessed throughout the second half. A sensational performance from our G&GR Man of the Match.

Wallaby Watch

Sitting up in the stands, Michael Chieka was able to watch a lot of Wallabies and Wallaby hopefuls go head to head in this match. I think he would have been impressed with some parts of the game from Coleman, Koroibete, and Fainga’a. Quade Cooper and Rob Valetini both had a couple of eye catching moments.

The Details

Scores and Scorers

Trys: M. Koroibete 41″, J. Maddocks 52″, W. Genia 65″, J. Maddocks 70″
Conversions: Q. Cooper – 3
Penalties: Q. Cooper – 1

Trys: H. Speight 18″, F. Fainga’a 33″, Penalty Try 40″, R. Valetini 60″
Conversions: C. Leali’ifano- 3
Penalties: C. Leali’ifano- 1

Cards and Citations

Yellow Cards: A. Coleman, Matt Gibbon





  • Brisneyland Local

    Thanks Mr Wobbly. Have been waiting for this all day. I am on my Free trial of Kayo so have been watching every game. rugby over load. Am now just drinking G&T and salting my wagyu 7+ steaks ready to cook whilst watching the Blues vs the Moondoggies. BL Points in now particular order:
    – Great game, really enjoyable. whilst there were some poor skills on display here and there it was a great arm wrestle.
    – Brumbies surely had the edge in the first half, and pushed their advantage.
    – Genia’s blow up was fantastic. frontline leadership the old fashioned way.
    – The Rebs scrum is no where near as weak as people think it is.
    – 7’A’s I hope the wrist dislocation isnt as bad as first thought. Also hope Coleman’s HIA is only minor.
    – Reb’s are clearly demonstrating that they can adapt their game plan and play what is in front of them. something Aus teams have not been able to do for years. I dont know what Wessel’s is doing but he has to be doing something right.
    – 9-10-12 Combo is fantastic, and could clearly be the Wallabies spine. If anything Genia Cooper definitely are.
    Really enjoyed this game and for the record I said on Friday’s post the Reb’s would win by 3 points. And fuck me Roman they did. First time I have nailed a prediction in my life. except for the time that I predicted that I would get kicked out of the pub because I was a little bit shitfaced! turns out I was a lot shitfaced, and my prediction came true!

    • Keith Butler

      Christ 19-3 down at half time and with 2 in the bin. Thought we were screwed and looking at a big loss. Genia must have been really pissed off and took control of the game. To lovely passes from QC under penalty so he could risk the loop pass. Rebs scrum not to bad and with a strong group of replacements just about got the job done. Big 2 weeks in SA. If we can get one win i’d Be satisfied. Ran out of beer so today it was schooners of homemade lemocello, plum brandy and white wine with tonic. Very nice.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Man if I was drinking schooeis of Limoncello I would be in an ambulance.

        • Keith Butler

          Lots of tonic very refreshing.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah, have never put tonic in it! I do it in shots. Lots of them.
          Generally after over indulging on pasta and mezze platters.

    • Hoss

      Look, you can all get stuffed ok. Put my money where my mouth was on the Ponies at 1-12 margin and for mine Valentinis was a clear try. Farking Saffa ref (for the record I think he is dreadful by the way)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold mate. At least your beloved Blue Boys got up. By the way I think Glenn Jackson was a little Blue eyed.

      • The Slow Eater

        Ref was shite. On both sides. Did not let the game flow. Blew the pee out of the whistle all night

  • GoMelbRebels

    Thanks Mr. W! Rebels games should come with a health warning. I don’t think my ticker can take much more of this!

    • Mr Wobbly

      I know, right? I was having homicidal urges near half time.

  • Huw Tindall

    9/10 match for Genia there. His ongoing fitness is crucial to the Rebels making the finals and the Wallabies going anywhere at RWC.

    Credit to the Rebels forwards for getting front foot ball for Genia too. Allows Cooper to do his thing too.

    Whoever the scrum coach is at the Rebels deserves a pay rise. They were a liability last year but are more than holding there own now. Is it Geoff Parling?

    Was a good warm up for the main game at the SCG this week.

    • swingpass

      Nic Henderson and Parling are running the forwards, so i assume it is Nic who is scrum coach.

    • Mr Wobbly

      You’re right about Genia staying healthy. Would have made the finals last year if he played more than half the games.

      Nic Henderson is the new Rebs scrum doctor, Parling is mainly lineout.

      • Bobas

        Hendo isn’t new I saw a scrum machine in princess park with his mobile number on it when they used to train there

  • mobay
  • Crescent

    One thing that baffled me from the Brumbies – hooking Pocock as the momentum had shifted to the Rebels. He had already saved the Brumbies a couple of times with some critical turnover ball when the Rebels were deep on attack. Just when they needed his steel in defense and ability over the ball, they pull him off. Ran about the same time as it wa revealed Coleman had failed his HIA. Certainly didn’t help the Brumbies cause.

    That said – great to see an Aussie team stand up from being well behind on the scoreboard to earn a hard fought win. Dish out a few more of those angry pills to Genia come finals time, and they might even make the Crusaders sweat.

    As long as the Rebels don’t bottle the back half of their season again.


      Yes I thought it seemed a tad weird timing aswell. Predetermined sub maybe? I mean who would expect the Rebels to dominate their way back into that game so well. Not many teams with players like Genia and Quade….

    • Mr Wobbly

      I think Pocock picked up an injury (calf?). Could be in doubt for next week.

    • Paul Rutherford

      i was watching with a mate at his place and we both noticed around the 60min the Brumbies nearly benched all their wallabies where as the Rebels didn’t. Coincidence that the Rebels came back into the match and the Brumbies lost all rhythm. My friend and I were perplexed was that a coaches strategy or wallabies pre planned benching of starting wallabies. If it was to help the wallabies why didn’t the Rebels bench their players in the second half?

      • Mr Wobbly

        I think you might be reading a bit too much into that.

        The Brumbies Wallabies are mostly forwards, Kuridrani and Banks both played the full 80 minutes. Pocock went off early injured but was replaced by another Wallaby in Samu. Alaalatoa stayed on until he injured his wrist but still played 63 minutes. Sio played the most minutes he has so far this season and was replaced by another Wallaby in Slipper. Fainga’a also played the most minutes he has all season.

        The Rebels’ starting Wallabies are all backs except for Coleman, who went off injured after 48 minutes.

        If Wessels had taken Genia off I reckon the fans would have set fire to the coaches box :)


    Good tough game. I’m just hoping all these loonies who think Meakes runs the show in the Rebels attack and or should be the Wallaby 12 were enlightened and bought back to earth. He was barely involved the whole game while at the same time still having a solid game….. exactly where he suits. .. . a solid Super rugby player. Not a Wallaby 12……at least not yet anyways.
    Now Genia and Cooper along with that growing visionary combination with Maddocks looks very promising! !!

    • Cameron Rivett

      Meakes had another solid game against the primary Wallabies centre (Kuridrani) of the last 5 years no less. Will Cheika pick him for the Wallabies? Almost certainly not, but that doesn’t take away from his performance. I would simply say that Australian centres depth is in a pretty good place right now (Petaia, Feauai-Sautia, Kerevi, Kuridrani, Meakes, Beale, Hunt, AAC, English, Hodge, Rona, Paia’aua, etc).

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Yes he was solid. But with at least 4-5 on your list there ahead of Meakes. … and only 3 other teams I think it shows he’s a capable Super rugby player. .. .not a Wallaby bolter like ALOT think after a good season start!

  • Cameron Rivett

    This match showed little to me other than that Genia is still the second best rugby player in Australia (after Pocock) and certainly a top 3 scrumhalf in the world if not the best. I was hoping that the introduction of Cooper would give the Rebels the ability to perform even when Genia isn’t playing at 110% percent like he was on Friday, but even though he’s definitely improved the team I’m not sure it’s working out that way.

  • Adrian

    As predicted,…Rebs know how to win, and Brums don’t.
    Inside 3 backs are crucial, and Brums don’t have them.
    Genia, Cooper, Meakes kept cool and won the game

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