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2018 Trial Match Brumbies v Rebels Seiffert Oval Queanbeyan

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
For many of us, the 2018 season kicks off on Saturday 3 February with the trial match between the current conference champions, the Brumbies, and the pretenders, the Rebels. The match will herald the new start for the Rebels after significantly strengthening their playing roster with many ex-Force players. The expectation is high inside rugby circles everywhere, not just in Melbourne, that the Rebels will be a real threat to both the Australian SR conference in 2018 and the competition as a whole. The Brumbies, on the other hand, have retained most of their roster from 2017 and will welcome back champion players in Christian Lealiifano and David Pocock, as well as looking to a few ex-Force players to play a strong hand in 2018, notably Isa Naisarani, Richie Arnold, Chance Peni and James Verity-Am.

The match will see the return of Colby Faiinga to his home town, assuming he plays. Will he be captain for the Rebels on the night?

How many, and who of the ex-Force players will be involved? Probably not the returning Wallabies, so we might not get to see Adam Coleman, Matt Phillip or DHP turn out for the Rebels. Similarly, it is unlikely for Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Tevita Kuridrani or Henry Speight to play much of a role for the Brumbies, if any. While Pocock is out following a knee operation, it is also likely that Christian Lealiifano will be rested for this game, given he has just returned from a stint in Ireland.

Will this match see a pairing of the two Arnolds in the Brumbies second row? Not sure of Rory's fitness, but it is a tasty proposition to contemplate.

Despite the big names who might be missing, there is still a lot of talent in both sides and a closely fought match should ensue. It will be interesting to see if either of the new coaches will introduce any innovative moves in their sides' game plans.

Will the result be meaningful. Based on history, probably not really. The Brumbies consistently perform poorly in trial matches but invariably have strong seasons. In the past two years they have lost to the Tahs twice and failed to make the finals last year at the Brisbane 10s, but still backed up to top the conference later in those years. The Rebels will probably be concentrating on establishing combinations and honing some moves than on the result. All in all, this match has the makings of an exciting, open game where skills and technique will be more important than the result at the end. Bring it on.
 

Brumby Jack

Steve Williams (59)
Staff member
This match is at Seiffert (couldn't edit the title) and will be live streamed at https://www.brumbies.com.au/2018/02/plus500-brumbies-v-rebels-live-stream/

Brumbies squad

Robbie ABEL
Allan ALAALATOA
Ben ALEXANDER
Angus ALLEN
Richie ARNOLD
Rory ARNOLD
Tom BANKS
Sam CARTER
Tom CUSACK
Blake ENEVER
James DARGAVILLE
Lolo FAKAOSILEA
Kyle GODWIN
Mack HANSEN
Wharenui HAWERA
Len IKITAU
Jordan JACKSON-HOPE
Leslie LEULUA’IALI’I-MAKIN
Harry LLOYD
Ryan LONERGAN
Matt LUCAS
Lachlan MCCAFFREY
Connal MCINERNEY
Andrew MUIRHEAD
Isi NAISARANI
Joe POWELL
Faalelei SIONE
Andrew SMITH
Henry SPEIGHT
Darcy SWAIN
Lausii TALIAULI
Rob VALETINI
James VERITY-AMM

Rebels
Melbourne Rebels team for trial v Brumbies
1. Tetera Faulkner
2. Jordan Uelese
3. Sam Talakai
4. Matt Philip
5. Sam Jeffries
6. Angus Cottrell
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Richard Hardwick
9. Michael Ruru
10. Jack Maddocks
11. Kitione Ratu
12. David Horwitz
13. Tom English (captain)
14. Dane Haylett-Petty
15. Tayler Adams

Reserves:
Jock Armstrong
Duncan Chubb
Jack Debreczeni
Harrison Goddard
Esei Ha’angana
Trevor Hosea
Henry Hutchison
Latu Latunipulu
Amanaki Mafi
Sama Malolo
Hunter Paisami
Dom Shipperley
Alex Toolis
Andrew Tuala
Sione Tuipulotu
Ikapote Tupai
Mahe Vailanu
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
No Folau Fainga'a or Josh Mann-Rea. Opportunity for McInerny at hooker.

Will there be a starting squad announced before the game, or a program at the game?
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
Final score Brumbies 50 - Rebels 19, eight tries to three. But more important was the game itself; the skills on show, the combinations and the approach of the two sides to their play.

The most obvious impression of the game to my eyes was the dominance of the Brumbies, especially in defense, over the Rebels. They hit hard and often forced the ball runner back in contact. The two Arnolds and Rob Valetini were to the fore in this regard. While the scrums were very evenly fought when the stronger packs were in play, the Brumbies' reserve pack showed some dominance over the Rebels' reserve pack later in the game. Unsurprisingly, the Brumbies also put on two or three tries through their impressive rolling maul. Clearly, the Brumbies' forward pack will be one of their strengths again in 2018.

In attack, I thought both sides showed pretty good ball control and were looking to create chances with ball in hand. Again, the Brumbies' defense mostly repelled the Rebels attack, but more opportunities opened up for the Rebels when Tuipolotu came off the bench. He will be a handful for opposing sides this year. The Brumbies attack had some good moments leading to a number of their tries. Good signs for the coming year.

I think both sides should be reasonably satisfied with their efforts. It must be remembered that the Rebels have quite a few of their top players yet to come into the team. Good performers for the Rebels were Ratu on the wing and Tuipolotu when he came on. The Brumbies' pack was very strong with Naisarani outstanding, and the locks performances overall much stronger than their Rebels' counterparts. Andrew Muirhead also rates a mention for his shift at full back when Tom Banks was rested. Not a split hair between them.

On a side note, once again there was a clash of jersey colours. It was difficult to discern the difference when play was in tight. Both sides profited with a try from a turn over from a quick throw in where the similarity in colours might have contributed.
 

fatprop

Jason Little (69)
Staff member
It is hardly surprising that the most settled side looked the best in the trial, they have been playing together for ages in the super and the NRC
 

Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
FP, the Brumbies' starting side as expected was more experienced than the Rebels' one. But how many of the following have you heard about playing together for ages in Super Rugby or NRC?

Mees Erasmus, Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Darcy Swain, Angus Allen, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Len Ikitau, Andrew Muirhead?

It was a trial match and the Brumbies used probably as many little known players as the Rebels did. Certainly, at times, the side had a distinctly un-Super look to it, but the standard of play didn't suffer. Same can and should be said for the Rebels. Both sides played with a lot of intent and good quality skill levels for the first match of the year. And both have many top players to come back into or join their sides. They will both improve on last night's performances.
 

amirite

Chilla Wilson (44)
FP, the Brumbies' starting side as expected was more experienced than the Rebels' one. But how many of the following have you heard about playing together for ages in Super Rugby or NRC?

Mees Erasmus, Connal McInerney, Harry Lloyd, Darcy Swain, Angus Allen, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Len Ikitau, Andrew Muirhead?

It was a trial match and the Brumbies used probably as many little known players as the Rebels did. Certainly, at times, the side had a distinctly un-Super look to it, but the standard of play didn't suffer. Same can and should be said for the Rebels. Both sides played with a lot of intent and good quality skill levels for the first match of the year. And both have many top players to come back into or join their sides. They will both improve on last night's performances.

I don't know mate, I'd say the Brumbies kept their starting core together longer. For 2/3 of the game the Rebels were playing mostly their uncontracted squad players. Hell, they even have their 2 U20s 2nd rowers on for most of the game.
 

Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
This was the Brumbies team and substitutions from the weekend...........

Plus500 Brumbies:

1. Faalelei SIONE (18. Leslie LEULUA’IALI’I-MAKIN 47’, 3. Mees ERASMUS 71’),
2. Robbie ABEL (16. Connal MCINERNEY 71’),
3. Allan ALAALATOA (17. Ben ALEXANDER 30’, 1. Harry LLOYD 71’),
4. Rory ARNOLD (20. Blake ENEVER 47’, 5. Darcy SWAIN 73’),
5. Sam CARTER (4. Richie ARNOLD 47’),
6. Rob VALETINI (7. Lachlan MCCAFFREY 47’),
7. Tom CUSACK (21. Lolo FAKAOSILEA 47’),
8, Isi NAISARANI (8. Rob VALETINI 60’, 6. Angus ALLEN 71’),
9. Matt LUCAS (9. Joe POWELL 30’, 21. Ryan LONERGAN 60’),
10. Wharenui HAWERA (12. Kyle GODWIN 60’),
11. Lausii TALIAULI (23. James DARGAVILLE 47’, 11. Noah LOLESIO 86’),
12. Kyle GODWIN (12, Jordan JACKSON-HOPE 47’),
13. Andrew SMITH (13. Len IKITAU 60’),
14. Henry SPEIGHT (22. James VERITY-AMM 47’),
15. Tom BANKS (15. Andrew MUIRHEAD 47’)

I didn't get a chance to watch live as I was at Laneway, but hopefully they'll upload the replay to youtube.
 

Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
So watched it last night........

There wasn't much between the two reasonably even matched sides for the first 30 minutes, but the Brumbies were better at capitalising on the try scoring opportunities - obviously they're a more settled squad.

Naisarani has so much athleticism for a big guy............

The Brumbies' pack has been dominated by a lot of industrious, heavy workrate forwards in recent years so it will be nice to get some decent ballrunners in there.

McCaffrey will be an excellent addition to the squad but I'm still convinced that Valetini/Cusack/Naisarani is the answer to the backrow while Pocock is out.

I think if Taliauli stays fit he'll be pushing for a starting spot - so strong in contact.
 
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Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
Hard for me to say this Slim, but I thought Kyle Godwin put in a pretty good effort too. As far as I can recall, he only put in one grubber all night and it was not too bad. At least it got through the advancing backline defense, which of itself was almost miraculous, and I think found touch in a good attacking position. Had a couple of more good touches too.

Andrew Muirhead is also looking to be in good form and showed up at both wing and full back. Think he actually edged Tom Banks in the No 15 spot. There will be plenty of competition for the back three spots with Speight, Taliauli, Muirhead, Peni, Verity-Am and Dargaville all challenging for a wing spot, while Muirhead and Banks are about equal for the 15 spot.
 
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