Rebels knock Brumbies off their perch
The Rebels caused another big upset when they knocked over Australia's leading Super Rugby franchise, the Brumbies.
The Rebels caused another big upset when they knocked over Australia's leading franchise, the Brumbies, in their Super Rugby showdown on Friday.
Despite being outscored three tries to two, the Rebels have the boot of fullback Jason Woodward to thank for the 32-24 win - as he kicked six penalties, two conversions and scored a try for a record 27 points.
The Brumbies opened the scoring in the fourth minute - a try to Jesse Mogg coming after Rebels mistake at the line-out, with Nic Stirzaker having failed to throw the ball straight. The Brumbies opted for a scrum, with Matt Toomua putting Mogg into space and the fullback accelerated away and over.
Nic White kicked the conversion and then exchanged penalties with Jason Woodward - making it 10-3 to the visitors as the game meandered along without much fuss or incident.
After the break the Brumbies stretched their lead to 17-12 approaching the final quarter. The scoring spell saw the Brumbies earn a penalty try from a powerful scrum five metres out - with three Woodward penalties, one before and two after the five-pointer keeping the home team in the hunt.
The game was bust wide open in the 60th minute, when Jason Woodward beat two defenders on the way to the tryline to give the Rebels the lead for the first time. He added the conversion and a penalty a few minutes later and with the final quarter approaching the Scoreboard read: Woodward 22 - Brumbies 17.
It went from bad to worse for the Brumbies in the next 10 minutes.
First Scott Fardy was yellow carded for repeated infringements at the breakdown and while a man down Mitch Inman slipped through some very poor defensive efforts to put the Rebels in command - Woodward's conversion making it 29-17 with 10 minutes remaining.
There was plenty of drama in the closing stages.
First a Matt Toomua chip-kick found Robbie Coleman, who sprinted over for a converted try (Toomua kicked a quick drop-goal to restart the game) that gave the visitors hope at 24-29.
However, from the restart Colby Fainga'a won a penalty turnover at the breakdown, with Woodward kicking it, to deny the Brumbies even a bonus point - the final score 32-24.
Man of the match: Bryce Hegarty kept his team on the front foot with some great tactical kicking, but there is only one real candidate and the winner of our award - Rebels fullback Jason Woodward, who not only kicked 22 points, but also scored a great try.
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Mogg, Penalty try, Coleman
Cons: White 2, Toomua
For the Rebels:
Tries: Woodward, Inman
Cons: Woodward 2
Pens: Woodward 6
Yellow card: Scott Fardy (Brumbies, 65 - repeated infringements at the breakdown)
Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cruze Ah-Nau, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Male Sa'u, 23 Angus Roberts.
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Christian Lealiifano.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)