Rugby Union 4 years ago

Melbourne, back on track.

  • Melbourne, back on track.

The Melbourne Rebels have finally had the victory they were after, defeating the Brumbies 32-24 at AAMI Park on Friday night in front of 10,726 people.

It was the game of Jason Woodward which got the Rebels the victory after the 23 year-old Wellington-born fullback amassed a club record of 27 points in one game (surpassing James O'Connor's former record of 24) scoring one try, 6 penalties, and 2 conversions.

It wasn't until the last 20 minutes of the match that the Rebels started to get a move on. Most of the game had seen the team sitting back in their own half, defending against the tirades of attacks the Brumbies were putting forth, and kicking the ball aimlessly for no advantage much to the frustration of the Melbourne crowd.

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Not until the 60th minute did the game open up for Tony McGahan's team. Tucking the ball under the arm and going head-first at the opponents defence was something which hadn't been seen for, not only the first hour of the game, but the last three weeks.

The start of the game saw the general early lapse in concentration from the Rebels -- something they have been victim of in all of their defeats thus far this season (bar the Crusaders). They conceded an early try to Jesse Mogg, and the game was all Brumbies in the first twenty minutes.

The Rebels pushed for the line late in the half, and a chance at the end to get the score on the board before the break was thwarted when Bryce Hegarty kicked the ball into touch half-a-second after the siren went.

A penalty try to the Brumbies from a strong scrum gave them a 6-17 at the start of the second, before a lovely try to Woodward saw the Rebels take the lead soon after. A cut-out pass from Hegarty was delivered to Woodward on the bounce, the fullback ran from 25 metres out, split the gap between five Brumbies defenders and break a tackle to go over the line in the 60th.

A disallowed try to Tom English after the ball was knocked from his hands right before the line was soon avenged by Melbourne when Mitch Inman managed to slip his way through a hole in the Brumbies defence to give Melbourne their second try and a 10 point lead after 70 minutes. 

A try to the Brumbies with two minutes remaining was nothing more than a consolation, but for the Rebels it was elation at fulltime following three weeks of disappointing results after what was such a promising start to the season.

The win moves the Rebels up into 12th spot on the Super Rugby table after seven rounds, while the Bumbies still remain in second. A win to the Sharks has meant the gap between first and second has been stretched to six points.

The Rebels will travel to New Zealand to take on the Highlanders next weekend in their first overseas game of the year, while the Brumbies will host the Blues in Canberra.

Make sure to follow @JordanKounelis on Twitter for his thoughts on the world of sport.

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