Melbourne Rebels 13 - 30 Brumbies

Match info: Super Rugby at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Date: 22/02/2013 KO: 08:40

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Rebels

TriesHigginbotham (17)ConversionsO'Connor (17)PenaltiesO'Connor (14, 33)

13
vs
30

Brumbies

TriesMogg (3) Rathbone (35) Mowen (60) Coleman (73)ConversionsLealifano (12)

FT (ht: 13-12)

  • Last Updated: February 22 2013, 11:15 GMT

The Brumbies showed they could be a force in Super Rugby this season with an impressive 30-13 victory over the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday night.

Mogg celebrates his try for the Brumbies
Mogg celebrates his try for the Brumbies

A week after keeping the Reds tryless in Canberra, the Brumbies displayed the form that has many tipping them to be the big improvers this campaign with another eye-catching effort against an Australian rival.

They did not have it all their own way against the Rebels, though, with Jake White's side having to overturn a half-time deficit in order to remain unbeaten in 2013.

After Jesse Mogg had given the Brumbies an early lead with a fantastic individual try, the Rebels scored 13 consecutive points to open up a six-point lead on the stroke of half-time.

But Clyde Rathbone scored late in the opening half to trim the deficit before some accurate kicking from Christian Lealiifano and late tries from Ben Mowen and Robbie Coleman sealed the bonus-point triumph.

While the Brumbies fully deserved the victory, for the Rebels it was another case of what may have been.

They had plenty of possession in the opening 40 minutes and could have been even further in front, but failed to trouble the scorers after half-time.

Their chances were not helped by the fact that James O'Connor was off the field for the final half an hour with what looked to be concussion, but that mattered little as the Brumbies proved too strong.

Both sides came out looking to play free-flowing rugby, with Kurtley Beale and Mogg in particular looking dangerous in possession in the middle of the park.

The much-improved Brumbies defence forced Beale into a turnover, however, and Mogg produced a piece of brilliance to score the opening try of the night after just five minutes.

The Brumbies flyer floated a sublime kick into attack before using his pace to outsprint the lagging Rebels defence and touchdown out wide.

Lealiifano split the uprights with the conversion to make it 7-0, but the Rebels came storming back into the contest.

O'Connor reduced the deficit with a penalty before superbly setting up Scott Higginbotham for his first try in Melbourne colours as the Rebels claimed their first lead of the night.

The big bodies among the Brumbies pack sensed a challenge and upped their game accordingly, but a host of missed opportunities in good field position and some good defence from the home side kept the Rebels in command.

The chances continued to come and, after O'Connor put the Rebels 13-7 ahead with a penalty, Mogg set up Rathbone for the Brumbies' second try of the night as the visitors closed within one at half-time.

Lealiifano gave the Brumbies the lead early in the second period when he added a simple penalty and their two-point advantage could have easily been extended had it not been for some more staunch defence from the hosts.

The Brumbies looked more organised in attack and Lealiifano looked destined to score when Matt Toomua and Rathbone had set him up perfectly.

That chance went begging, but there were more to come as another penalty put the Brumbies 18-13 ahead before the late tries from Mowen and Coleman.