Planet Rugby

Brumbies move closer to play-offs

01st June 2012 10:20

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Stephen Moore of the Brumbies is tackled by Rebels

Hard battle: The Brumbies held on

The Brumbies took a step closer to a home Super Rugby play-off on Friday with a 27-19 win over the Rebels in Melbourne.

The result sees the Brumbies move five points clear of the Reds - who have a bye this week - at the top of the Australian conference ahead of the June break.

Coach Jake White will however have been disappointed to see his team restricted to just two tries against the lowly Rebels, who put up a gallant fight.

Like most of the Aussie derbies this season, it was far from a classic clash but the visitors ground out four tournament points that could prove vital in the make up of the knockout fixtures.

The Brumbies' performance could be described as workmanlike, at best, and White will know a massive step up will be needed if they are to progress into the final four, especially when this display is compared to the Crusaders' demonstration earlier in the day.

The Brumbies looked comfortable early on and cruised into a 9-0 lead via penalties from Jesse Mogg and Zack Holmes.

Julian Huxley pulled three points back for the Rebels but when prop Jono Owen was sent to the sin-bin and Brumbies centre Andrew Smith then crossed the whitewash in the 25th minute after a series of phases, it looked like the hosts were in for a hiding.

The Rebels regrouped however and dominated the closing minutes of the half. Huxely added two more penalties to narrow the gap to 14-9 before fly-half James Hilgendorf was denied a try by the TMO after a brilliant solo effort on the stroke of half-time.

Huxely made sure they did get something for their efforts however and the two-point gap (14-12) at half-time was probably a fair reflection of the opening 40 minutes.

The Brumbies took control back in the opening stages of the second period as Holmes added a penalty before Robbie Coleman found his way into the corner.

The conversion from Holmes put the Brumbies well clear at 24-12 but the Rebels weren't ready to roll over just yet.

Cooper Vuna struck back almost immediately when the Brumbies made a hash of the restart. Huxley added the extras with another good kick to reduce the deficit to five points.

But the Rebels would not score again and Holmes' fourth penalty provided the only points of the final quarter as the Brumbies shut up shop.

The scorers:

For the Melbourne Rebels:
Try: Vuna
Con: Huxley
Pens: Huxley 4

For the Brumbies:
Tries: Smith, Coleman
Cons: Holmes 3
Pens: Mogg 2, Holmes

Yellow card: Owen (Rebels - 24th min - not rolling away)

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Stirling Mortlock (C), 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James Hilgendorf, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Hugh Perrett, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Adam Freier, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Al Campbell, 19 Tom Chamberlain, 20 Tim Davidson, 21 Richard Kingi, 22 Nic Stirzaker,

Brumbies: 15 Robbie Coleman, 14 Jesse Mogg, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Leon Power, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ruaidhri Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa 20 Ian Prior, 21 Henry Speight, 22 Tevita Kuridrani.

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