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Rebels notch tight Super win over Brumbies

Melbourne remain unbeaten after three games of the Super Rugby season, overcoming an ugly first half to beat the Brumbies 29-26 in their AAMI Park clash.

Rebels notch tight Super win over Brumbies

Melbourne remain unbeaten after three games of the Super Rugby season, overcoming an ugly first half to beat the Brumbies 29-26 in their AAMI Park clash.

Head Coach DAVE WESSELS of the Force looks on prior to the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Force at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Head Coach DAVE WESSELS of the Force looks on prior to the Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Force at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand. Picture:Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

The Melbourne Rebels have overcome an ugly first half to continue their Super Rugby unbeaten run with a 29-26 win over the Brumbies at AAMI Park.

Young Wallabies winger Jack Maddocks scored two of Friday night's four second-half tries as the home side pegged back a 19-3 halftime deficit.


His second try in the 70th minute, touching down after a long ball from Quade Cooper, gave them the lead for the first time in the match.

The Rebels had pounded the tryline for 10 phases before a quick tap for the five-eighth to find his man.

Melbourne coach Dave Wessels said his team's game plan was always for a big finish but he wasn't happy with how they let the Brumbies control the first half.

"The plan of the game was to match their strengths, which is their set piece, early and then at the back end of the game, take the match away from them by speeding up the tempo," Wessels explained.

"We look very clever because it worked but, in all honesty, I feel for the Brumbies a bit because they competed well in the first half.

"Probably the thing I'm most proud of is that we played 20 minutes with one man short and still finished playing at speed and looking like we still had more to give."

The Rebels had a shocking first 40 minutes, with both Adam Coleman and prop Matt Gibbon yellow-carded; the latter handing the Brumbies a penalty try after the halftime siren.

While they benefited from a 10-3 penalty count, the Brumbies deserved the lead as they didn't allow the Rebels' star-studded backline to find any rhythm and dominated the contact area.

Playing his first match since a round-one hip injury, winger Henry Speight scored in the 18th minute despite Marika Koroibete's best efforts.

Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a also barrelled across from the back of a maul to set up a commanding lead.

But the Rebels came out a different side in the second half and, after a Cooper long ball, a determined Koroibete muscled over.

They cut the lead to four points when Maddocks scored his first try, which was converted by Cooper.

The Brumbies hit back through a 60th-minute try to exciting young flanker Rob Valetini but the home side had too much finishing power.

In vintage form, halfback Will Genia darted over from the back of the scrum before Maddocks' match winner.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was shattered.

"It's incredibly disappointing," he said.

"We lacked composure and control at critical times."

The Rebels leave on Saturday for two games in South Africa minus their Wallabies, who have a three-day camp in Sydney.

Lock Coleman suffered a head knock but should be fine to play the Lions in Johannesburg.

AAP


AAP




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