The Brumbies, like the Rebels, will be looking to bounce back this weekend after both provinces were narrowly edged out last Friday night, when they face one another at AAMI Park on Saturday.
After being pipped at the post by an Aaron Cruden penalty on the full-time siren to lose 19-17, the Brumbies will be looking to respond quickly against an ever-improving Rebels outfit.
And while the Rebels are still emerging as a club, having entered the competition in 2011, their continual rise as a club will cause a number of teams headaches this year, especially against visiting teams.
In 2014, the Rebels showed significant improvement at the breakdown to beat an ill-disciplined Brumbies outfit 32-24, and Jason Woodward benefited by slotting six penalty goals which ultimately separated the two sides.
In that game, Scott Fardy, the Brumbies and Wallabies blindside flanker was sin-binned and he knows all too well the challenge which the Rebels will pose this Saturday.
“They’ve had a great start to the season,” Fardy said.
“They were unlucky last week. I only caught the end of the game because we were obviously playing, but to knock off the Crusaders in Christchurch is a huge effort and that’s something we’ve struggled to do so they’ve been growing for the past few years and they’ll get better.”
Despite the Brumbies loss to the Chiefs last Friday, Fardy said that the side was happy with how the forwards played, and for the best part got the better of their New Zealand rivals, but was adamant that that’s how the Brumbies pack should play each week.
“Our scrum’s always been a big part of our game and the same with our lineout and rolling maul. Since 2012 it’s been something we’ve been really proud of. It’s had a good start this year, but we’re two rounds in so it’s going to be a big challenge this weekend against a good Melbourne pack,” said Fardy.
“I think they’ve muscled up for the last few years. They’ve been growing as a forward pack and they’re looking good and it’s going to be a tough challenge for us to go down to Melbourne.”
Making the trip down to Melbourne even more difficult is that open-side flanker, David Pocock, will again be missing from the side through injury.
His absence at the breakdown will be missed, but for the second consecutive week, Jarrad Butler, will fill the void and come up against former Brumby, Colby Fainga’a.