Ryan Lonergan larceny steals Brumbies win over Rebels - Green and Gold Rugby
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Ryan Lonergan larceny steals Brumbies win over Rebels

Ryan Lonergan larceny steals Brumbies win over Rebels

  • Ryan Lonergan penalty goal wins it after the siren
  • Allan Alaalatoa red carded on half time
  • Matt To’omua 8 penalty goals

The Brumbies have snatched a late win over the Rebels with a balls of steel penalty goal from replacement scrum half Ryan Lonergan from the halfway line to steal a 27-24 bonus point win over a dogged Rebels side.

Just like against the Reds, the Rebels frustrated the opposition with the trusty golden boots of Matt Toomua landing eight penalties on the night and they could have even won the match at the death but for a wayward pass with the line begging.

A red card to Allan Alaalatoa soured the win after a high shot on his opposite Pone Faamausili just before half time and another yellow to Andy Muirhead in the second half saw them grind it out to the end as the clock ticked well past the 80 minutes.

Even with the extra player advantage the Rebels couldn’t close out the game and saw the Brumbies score their third try and claiming the crucial bonus point during the period when Muirhead was in the bin.

The Match

The Rebels got off to the perfect start with a penalty off the first phase of the game, leaving Matt To’omua with an easy shot at goal to open the scoring.

Richard Hardwick would have been very nervous given the crackdown on foul play as his tackle was deemed accidental by referee Damon Murphy, ruling the momentum from Connal McInerney contributed to him landing awkwardly on his head.

Noah Lolesio answered To’omua’s penalty goal with his own and in a repeat of the kick-off, the Rebels targeted the Brumbies to earn their second penalty goal with only six minutes gone.

The Rebels breakdown work in the opening minutes was impressive with a number of turnovers to frustrate the Brumbies attacking threats, especially in the wide channels to keep the Brumbies on the back foot with the aid of a favourable penalty count.

With the penalty count racking up, the Brumbies copped the warning and were probably lucky not to go down a man, however they would watch To’omua land his third penalty in the opening 20 minutes.

The Brumbies finally got their hands on the ball in the Rebels 22 off a penalty, and from the lineout the Brumbies went for the maul but with a penalty advantage, Lolesio grubbered ahead for Len Ikitau to swoop in and score. Lolesio converted to make it 10-9.

That gave the Brumbies the lift they needed and would spend the next period down the Rebels end but execution at the lineout from Lachlan Lonergan, who was on early for the injured McInerney, and some determined defence got the Rebels off the hook. The defence was again on song after keeping Scott Sio out and would then cause an error from the Brumbies after an extended period on their own line.

The Brumbies lineout faltered again in the Rebels 22 with the impressive Trevor Hosea disrupting and an intercept from Hodge off a Lolesio pass had the Rebels in good field position. As they played in the Brumbies half just before half time, Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa received a red card for a high shot on a charging Pone Faamausili and from the penalty, To’omua had his fourth penalty goal of the half to edge the Rebels back in front at 12-10.

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Despite being down a player, the Brumbies had the better start to the second half and Lolesio had a shot at penalty goal to wind down time on the red card but it was wide.

But only minutes later they went back in front after the rolling maul had the Rebels in trouble to leave Damon Murphy awarding a penalty try and James Hanson copped the double-edged sword with the follow up yellow card for bringing down the maul.

To’omua’s shiny golden boots had his fifth penalty goal of the night with nice kick from 40m out into the wind to reduce the margin to 2. And he would add his sixth of the night just before the 60-minute mark to again change the lead with a whole host of subs hitting the field. Marika Koroibete had been having a good night out wide and beating first up tacklers with ease at times and he had the Rebels in good position after a strong run off the restart.

The frustration continued for the Brumbies after they tried to sneak the drop out after a held up call but that didn’t go the required distance and that was followed by Andy Muirhead getting binned after repeated infringements that saw To’omau’s seventh penalty of the night.

The Brumbies finally had a stroke of luck go their way as a high ball from Banks hit Lachie Anderson and went into touch for a lineout on the 71st minute mark. Six phases later, Ryan Lonergan hit Tom Banks with a Gregan/Fineganesque inside ball and he regained his feet to score the bonus point try for the Brumbies. Ryan Lonergan converted to make it 24-21 with less than 10 minutes to go.

And like Groundhog Day, To’omua landed his eighth penalty to level the scores at 24-24 with all signs pointing to the first edition of golden try in 2021.

But there would be late, late drama as the Brumbies worked it out of their own end aided by back-to-back penalties to end up on halfway. With the decision of kicking for touch or to goal from long range, Ryan Lonergan stepped up and ripped the hearts out from Rebels supporters as his kick landed over the crossbar by a bees appendage and steal the win.

The Game Changer

The Rebels looked like they might hold on for golden try but the back-to-back penalties at the end of regular time saw the Brumbies kick for goal and Lonergan did the business.


Ryan Lonergan put in a decent shout by setting up the Tom Banks try with a nice flick pass and then the penalty to win it. For the Rebels, Marika Koroibete was elusive all night for Brumbies defenders but in a blanket finish Tom Banks edges it.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Ikitau, penalty try, Banks
Conversions: Lolesio, R Lonergan
Penalties: Lolesio, R Lonergan
Penalties: To’omua 8


40 mins – Alaalatoa (Brumbies) – Red
48 mins – Hanson (Rebels) – Yellow
68 mins – Muirhead (Brumbies) – Yellow

  • Steve

    Thanks for the write up Steve.

    Well, didn’t the Rebels bring it for the second week in a row. Incredibly effective at slowing the ball down and a lesson for the Brums that they may not be as hot as they think they are.

    That said I think they’ve realised (for the second week in a row) that the ref’s white-hot focus on the offside line and the counter ruck means that just having possession means you will draw penalties. If you take the points when offered you will keep up with any side without scoring tries.

    Defenses need to be smarter and not give away pens when they don’t need to.

    Props to Lonergan and Banks, the game was worth watching for that bit of magic alone – and what a kick to finish. Hope Reese Hodge was paying attention at the other end.

    • Brumby Runner

      Maybe defences do need to be more alert to the offside, but Murphy was absolutely ready to blow the whistle at any occasion. Really don’t like the way he refs a game.

      • Who?

        I agree – I’m not a Murphy fan. Commentators have pulled him up a few times over the past few weeks… Also picked up where Ryan Lonergan was at least a metre offside chasing Toomua kicking just before the last try, with all the Rebels audibly shouting, “He’s offside sir!” at the ref. Just after Muirhead had been carded for being offside. So, clearly, players still aren’t managing to get it in their heads that they simply have to get onside, and then get more onside.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Steve that was a good game for the intensity and the Rebels stepped up well in defence especially in the line outs. I’m not sure they will be a real threat though until they learn how to manufacture tries. Their midfield has nothing and Hodge may as well sit on the sideline for all the penetration he brings. I’m not sure a plan of “watch Koroibete do some magic” is a valid attacking plan but I didn’t see anything else there. I thought both Lolesio and Toomua were good at 10 with Lolesio edging the play moves and Toomua edging the kicking but the Brumbies backline was far superior.

    • mortlucky

      Well said. And as a Rebels fan that’s disappointing.

    • Keith Butler

      Agreed KARL we have very little to offer outside. Even if that last kick had missed the Ponies would have got the Golden Try. Have to say watching Banks try was a thing of beauty, the sort of thing you only normally see on the training paddock. Class.

      • MST

        I can’t help but ask about a decision process that avoids going for a try to win in favour of a kick that could take you to golden try overtime. This from a team that has not scored a try yet.


        • Keith Butler

          You might well ask MST. The short answer is that the Rebs have virtually nothing outside 10. And the call to “ give the ball to Marika” has a familiar ring to it.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Very good questions mate

        • Huw Tindall

          Rebels were a man up still with Muirhead in the bin and were starting to dominate territory and possession. If Toomua had taken the easy 3 from when Muirhead was binned they’d already have been level and he’d have kicked to win in dying minutes.

          To be fair to the Rebels they had a couple of really close opportunities which a backline with more time together would have scored. Just think none of the players besides Toomua, Hodge and Marika have played together in a backline so combos will be lacking. Not an excuse for a team with so much talent like the Rebels but a reason why they may be struggling to convert tries so far this year. Expect the second half of the season will see them improve markedly. Hell they could/should have beaten the Reds and Brums away all whilst being on the road for 5 weeks so far after fleeing Vic lock down! Not a bad effort in all.

    • Who?

      Spot on. Worth noting, apart from Koroibete, the Rebels’ front rowers were more likely to make breaks and link in space!

  • Pedro

    It was an impressive win for the brumbies, considering the self inflicted wounds they played with. The cards and injuries were one thing, but the amount of errors kicking from hand in the second half must’ve set a record.

    Bad luck to the rebels, really could’ve gone either way, neither side could dominate the other.

    The early injury to McInerney was a big test for the brumbies. Vision of the hopping hooker the win seems to indicate he’ll be out for a decent amount of time. Lonergan deputised well, but hopefully try machine ffaingaa is back soon. Ikitau also looked injured for the last quarter but played on.

  • Hutch

    Marika is wasted at the Rebels. He was on fire and clearly the biggest threat to the Brumbies. But the Rebels backline never got the ball to him in an attacking position. If a couple of those penalty goals were used for set plays from lineouts to get the ball in his hands the Rebels would have won.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. What a great series of games to watch this weekend with one to go.
    The Ponies vs Rebels was agreat game. I pretty sure the Ponies fans had their hearts in their mouths for a while.
    – Firstly the referumping was pretty good and prettu consistent. As a neutral I thought it was good. He communicates very well.
    – 7 A’s is going to be in trouble at the tribunal me thinks. Did he get cited? Is it still you get a red you go to the bad boys court room?
    – The recipe to beat the Brumbies is there. If you have a team that can attack too, the Ponies might be in trouble. Reds Vs Brumbs next week, will be an awesome game.
    – I am impressed that the Rebels are a much better team then the last few seasons. Minus a penetrating attack. BUt with two Cow’s and Hodge that can kick, if you infringe inside your half, then that is 3 points to the Rebs. A boring way to win, but hey I would always take a boring or ugly win over a fantastic loss!
    – I enjoyed the game last night, it was really compeitive and both teams didnt give up. Both have problems with discipline that is for sure. But hey all of the Aussie teams are in that boat.
    – I think our players stocks are getting better. We are lacking in the second row, but the rest of the park we are looking to have choices. Unlike the Ass Clown days where it was a choice of someone in a blue uniform.
    – I dont know about the rest of you, but 4 games in a weekend in watchable timeslots is fantastic. I am loving my rugby again.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Keith Butler

      Afternoon BL. Sort of shits me that now the Rebs have a pack that can compete with any others we have nothing outside 10 apart from Koribete. Hodge has always seemed to me to be a bit of a cart horse at 12, solid and dependable with a big boot ( that can be hit and miss) but not going to set the world on fire. Games I watched in 2020, Andrew Deegan from the Force looked sharp. Not sure if he fit but him and Toomua at 10 and 12 might had a bit of spark but atm we are sadly lacking go forward in the midfield.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Need to find another big fast ball runner. Even if it is a crach and basher, at least that will get you over the gain line and then give Two cows the opportunity to set up the next phase.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hey mate. Love that the playing stocks are getting better although I’d say they always were but the Ass Clown didn’t pick them being closer to the truth.
      Rebels need a good 12 and 13. They have no penetration in their back line and don’t seem to know how to orchestra space for others. I personally think Hodge is getting worse and he needs to either go to 15 or move on

      • Brisneyland Local

        With a boot like that you want him there, but he is a 15 in mind. Sit down the back, good under a high ball, then roost the ball 60-65 metres down range. god who wouldnt want that in their team. He is a reasonable defender. He is definitely no Kurtley Beale in defence.

    • Rugby Truth

      Thought the refereeing was a bit average to be honest.
      – The contact in the air on Pete Samu
      – The dangerous cleanout to the head of Nic White
      – The tip tackle from Hardwicke
      – A couple of those early penalties the Rebels received, for the Brumbies not releasing, the Rebels player/s had knees touching the ground

      • Who?

        Contact in the air on Samu, they could’ve blown the other way, too. Because there was some pretty clear blocking that impeded the chase and put Hodge off his line. I thought they handled it pretty well.

        Cleanout on White, first contact was 18’s right hand on White’s left shoulder. It looked like a push as much as anything, a ‘get out of the way’ bump. The contact was also significantly exacerbated by the Brumby arriving on White’s right shoulder, pushing him into the contact.

        ‘Tip tackle’ from Hardwick? Nah… It was a trip tackle. Hardwick was lucky to grab McInerney’s right knee. He didn’t have any position or power to lift. Actually thought Murphy got that right (I’m a neutral, and not a fan of Murphy).

        The second penalty to the Rebels, I think it was for being held and playing on. White was off his feet on the ground, with Rebels hands on him, and he got up to play on. I don’t think it was ‘not releasing’ in the case of a jackal, but in the case of ‘not releasing’ when off his feet before playing on.

      • Brisneyland Local

        RT, didnt think it was perfect, but in the grand scheme of things better thanwhat I have seen elsewhere.

  • Tim

    Not going to lie. This season so far has been really exciting a lot of close games. Last night was excellent game. Brumbies played I think around 30 minutes with 14 people yet the rebels could not score a try during this time period. I like the ref speeding up the game!

  • Jason

    Honestly, I think that last penalty should have gone to the Rebels way actually. Then there was the Brumbies Winger miles off side they didn’t call a few min before.

    Disappointed for the Rebels they probably should have gotten that win, but alas.

    Also makes the Reds nail biter look a lot better.

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