Preview: Rebels v. Brumbies - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Preview: Rebels v. Brumbies

Preview: Rebels v. Brumbies

Both the Rebels and Brumbies head into this match on the back of losses last time out but at different ends of the spectrum. The Rebels were battered and bruised in a disappointing effort against the Hurricanes, whilst the Brumbies went down by one point against the Reds.

To be belted in Wellington was hard enough to cop, but watching your star play maker go off with a serious shoulder injury was even worse considering the calibre of players already in the medical room at the Rebels. It could have been worse with Mark Gerrard defying medical science and somehow recovering from one of the biggest hits of the year on his sternum from Hurricanes reserve hooker Motu Matu’u to be right for this game.

The Rebels have dusted themselves off and want to get their season back on track that was looking so promising until they went to Wellington. They currently sit one point behind the Waratahs in the Australian conference and would love to be above them for bragging rights and this week they turn to James Hilgendorf to lead them around the park. Hilgendorf appears to be the forgotten man of the Rebels and is their fourth flyhalf of the year so far after the departure of Cipriani and injuries to O’Connor and Beale.

Adam Freier earns a start at hooker after his try scoring feat last week and ex-Brumby Jono Owen starts at tighthead. Owen was deemed surplus to requirements at the Brumbies and being behind ALexander and Palmer it appeared his game time would be limited in the Capital.

The Brumbies know what can happen if they take the Rebels lightly and became the first scalp in Rebels history in Melbourne last year. That too came on the back of Rebels hiding the week before so the Brumbies shouldn’t think they can rock up and easily chalk up the points.

But so much is different with this Brumbies side in 2012 and coach Jake White has tinkered with his side and made changes in both the forwards and backs. Lock Sam Carter and prop Dan Palmer are rested with Leon Power and Ruaidhri Murphy making the start with Ben Alexander shifting to tighthead to accommodate Murphy.

In the backs, exciting fullback Robbie Coleman finally make it back to the starting side and with that, Jesse Mogg shifts to the wing. Maybe the move of Mogg will help his kicking game which has been less than average this year with out on the full or down the throat of an opponent (Luke Morahan last week as one example) featuring too often in 2012 and will need more consistency in that area to break into the Wallaby side and coming up against one of the best in Mark Gerrard will need to do just that.

This game will also see the return to the bench of flanker Colby Faingaa who has been biding his time in club rugby in Canberra with the Vikings after suffering a ligament injury to his foot in a trial back in February. With Michael Hooper also in the Wallaby squad it wouldn’t be surprising to see both players get a half each.


Rebels: 15. Julian Huxley, 14. Mark Gerrard, 13. Mitch Inman, 12. Stirling Mortlock (c), 11. Cooper Vuna, 10. James Hilgendorf, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Gareth Delve, 7. Hugh Perret, 6. Luke Jones, 5. Hugh Pyle, 4. Cadeyrn Neville, 3. Jono Owen, 2. Adam Freier, 1. Nic Henderson.
Res: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Al Campbell, 19. Tom Chamberlain, 20. Tim Davidson, 21. Richard Kingi, 22. Nic Stirzaker.

Brumbies: 15. Robbie Coleman, 14. Jesse Mogg, 13. Andrew Smith, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Joe Tomane, 10. Zack Holmes, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (c), 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Peter Kimlin, 5. Leon Power, 4. Scott Fardy, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ruaidhri Murphy.
Res: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Fotu Auelua, 19. Colby Faingaa, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Henry Speight, 22. Tevita Kuridrani.


The match will take place at the Stockade (AAMI Park) on Friday night at 7:40pm. For those not going, you can watch it on Fox Sports 3.

Referee: Keith Brown (NZ)
Assistant referees: Ian Smith (Aus), Simon Moore (Aus)
Television match official: Steve Lesczcynski (Aus)

Game Breaker

There are a few match ups of note across the park with Wallaby spots up for grabs shortly. White v. Phipps, Vuna v. Mogg but I think the big match up will be in the respective second rows.

Wallaby bolter Cadeyrn Neville and another up and comer Hugh Pyle will come up against the Brumbies Scott Fardy, and his beard. Neville has made the Wallaby squad after just 4 games and Fardy looks to have finally found a home at the Brumbies and been one their best this season.

The Fearless Prediction

The big question here is can the Rebels bounce back from their beating last week? The fact that the Wallaby squad has been announced with some new faces from the Rebels should have lifted spirits around the team with Vuna, Neville and Phipps in the starting 15. Vuna was the best in beaten side last week but will he have the same moves like he does behind the wheels of steel?

The Brumbies also have their fair share of Wallabies and a few players who will feel they were hard done by and out to prove a point to Dingo and his clan of assistants. The game surely couldn’t be as dour as the Brumbies v Reds game last week and hopefully we see some flowing Rugby with Brumbies captain Ben Mowen stating that his team will kick less which will be rewarding for the crowd since the Brumbies can be dangerous with the ball in hand.

The one thing that is concerning about the Rebels is they have gone for a 5/2 split on the bench with the 2 backs named both only being noted scrum halves. If they sustain injuries like last week, it could be a messy ending. I feel that without Beale they may go back into their shell and lose that attacking flair that had been the highlight in the weeks leading up to the Hurricanes game.
Brumbies by 12.

  • werewolf

    Brumby Jack thankyou. In terms of Mogg I’ve been tearing my hair out with the many suggesting he should walk into the wallaby set up. I think he started well this season but I’ve seen him do a lot of poor kicking in the past 4 weeks. Plus he is also the skinniest player since Skinny Mcskinnison played for the Dublin Skinnies during the Irish famine.

    I’d say Palmer being rested is at the request of Deans in order for him to play against Scotland?

    • Bones

      that’s also my reading of it.

      Re Skinny – Mogg looks like a clone of Larkham himself, who was also a Bony Maroni, but he held his own well in defence and glided through in attack rather than having to blast through.

      • Patrick

        Larkham’s kicking in general play was sublime, even back in his fb days.

      • the realist

        I think there is a big difference between when Larkham first played during the phase into professionalism and today’s ultra professional players who are all physical specimens of the highest order. By the time Larkham retired in 2007 he was a lot bigger than when he first started playing. I also read after this years world cup players saying that there has been an even bigger change since 2007 in terms of physical power and size of players. I’m afraid Mogg is just TOO light weight for test rugby and really he is hardly doing anything remotely as good as a young Larkham anyway.

        This guy does not have what it takes and is destined for a Sam Norton Knightish career.

        Just keeping it real.

  • Pedro

    Both of these teams have been great to watch, with the odd blemish like last week. Really looking forward to some running rugby with bonus points for all.

    I’m banking on a bonus point win for the brums which will stretch out their advantage over the reds. Brumbies by five, with the rebels picking up a two point force.

    Also looking forward to Colby getting a go. Last season he was on par with hooper, so hopefully he will shine too, given the chance. We’ll need him especially next season with hooper giving up rugby to play with the tahs.

    • muffy

      “We’ll need him especially next season with hooper giving up rugby to play with the tahs”

      LOL very funny, Pay that twice!

      • Blinky Bill of Bellingen


        The question I ask myself is why would Hooper leave a successful & developing outfit like the Ponies with coaching staff that seem to actually know how to coach, for a chaotic mob like the Tahs? And I’m a Tahs ‘fan’.

        • Patrick

          I can’t fathom it personally, it really does strike me as a disaster for him and for Australian rugby.

          Alcock has actually had some decent games, too, they don’t need Hooper that badly, they need the way Hooper’s been coached, which they aren’t going to get. I think they should take back Bob Dwyer!

        • Brumby Jack

          Hooper wanted to go back home to Sydney to be closer to his family and partner and no amount of money could persuade him to stay.

          Can’t fault him on that one.

          Brumbies fans should wish him well.

        • Lee Enfield

          Is jake White going to be at the Brumbies next year? Prior to his stint at the Brumbies, I thought White was a good coach, who had the luck of having a talented bunch of Saffas to coach.

          After the Brumbies performance this year with a team of practically nobodies, I have changed my view. I now firmly believe that White is an outstanding coach, yes he has good assistants in Gregan and Larkham, but the Brumbies are his baby. I would have no problem with White taking over the Wallabies after Deans’ contract expires.

          My thoughts are, McKenzie will be a Wallabies coach, but I think he should wait till after the next world cup. We have seen top qualtiy coaches come in and take the poison chalice that is taking over a coaching role a year or two out from a World cup and fail. Mckenzie should wait and then he will have 4 years to stamp his mark on the Wallabies and create a team entirely of his making.

          Jake White has shown that he can win a world cup and now shown that he can turn a team around in one off season. I doubt the Wallabies will improve much further under Deans, I hope I am wrong, but I just can’t see it as he has had enough time. So White can come in for the 2014/15 season as a short term appointment with the whole aim of winning the World Cup.

          It gives White the chance to coach at international level again, which he wants. It gives the Wallabies a coach who has runs on the board at all levels and with the ability to change a teams fortune in one season. It gives Ewen the chance to start fresh with the Wallabies at the start of the 4 year cycle, where he can develop a squad and build depth after the post world cup exodus.

  • Brock

    Tomane to score a double and Brums by 20

  • Lee Enfield

    The loss last week to the Reds will still be hurting the Brumbies, who will struggle to get up for this game. The Rebels, in true Australian conference style, will be out to dent the Brumbies tilt at the finals, with Motlock to have a blinder against his old team.

    In an upset, the Rebels by 3.

  • RJ

    Rebels beat the Brumbies in the corresponding fixture last year. Looking for more of the same. Car’n Rebels.

  • the realist

    If the brumbies or rebels play anything like last weekend we are going to have to stop bagging the northern hemisphere.

    It will either be unbelievably high scoring or no tries. No middle ground methinks.

    An important game for the reds hey!

  • Patrick

    I can’t call this one, I would love to see Kingi get a decent run and I think the Brumbies may regret resting some forwards.

    But frankly Hilgendorf was very unimpressive when he came on the last few times and I’m not optimistic.

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