Rebels v.s Brumbies match review
February 22, 2013
Both Aussie victors from week 1 met in round 2 searching for the lead in the Aussie conference.
First 20: 7.25/10
In the opening 5 minutes the Rebels started strongest yet the Brumbies, against the run of play opened scoring with a brilliantly executed kick and chase try by Jesse Mogg. Christian Lealiifano converted the goal to put last weekend’s kicking demons to bed. The Rebels bounced back soon after the restart to earn a shot at goal from near the halfway line. James O’Connor missed the attempt.
The Rebels then pinned the Brumbies into their own 22 with some great counter-rucking, defence and ball retention through direct one-off runners. The pressure mounted and they earned a second attempt at goal, this time for coming in from the side at the breakdown by Dan Palmer. James O’Connor was accurate in his second attempt at goal, the score now 3 – 7 to the Brumbies.
A passage of tactical kicking then followed and a moment of individual magic from James O’Connor, taking the bit between his teeth, set up Scott Higginbotham to score under the posts. The Brumbies replied with some sloppy attacking play to close out the stanza 10 – 7.
Second 20: 7/10
As the half wore on the Brumbies with ball in hand began to use more width, effectively stretching the Rebels’ defence to win their way into the Rebels corner. The Brumbies fumbled the attacking lineout yet won back possession. In the following passage of attack the Brumbies won a penalty only to go for the corner rather than the posts. For the second time, the lineout in the corner did not work out and 3 more points were wasted! (Why oh why do captains turn down shots at goal, statistically you wont score 1 try from 2 lineout attempts so why do it even if 20 points behind in the early stages? Take the 3!)
Possession was now starting to go the way of the Brumbies yet poor finishing on several opportunities kept the Rebels in the game. This half was now the Brumbies to lose. Against the run of play the Rebels earned another penalty. James O’Connor missed the shot at goal. Defence was certainly trumping attack to this point in the game.
Several minutes later Dan Palmer gave away another penalty, this time for falling over the ball. James O’Connor didn’t make another mistake of the attempt, the Rebels now leading 13 – 7 (bear in mind the Brumbies could have had 6 more points at this stage had they taken their shots at goal).
With momentum now shifting in the Rebels’ favour an individual moment of brilliance from Jesse Mogg against the run of play ripped open the Rebels’ defence to set up Clyde Rathbone’s 16th try for the Brumbies. The conversion was missed, the score now 13 – 12. As the halftime hooter sounded the Brumbies were awarded a penalty 5 meters out for an infringement at the breakdown. The Brumbies turned down YET ANOTHER shot at goal opting for a scrum. The ball was eventually knocked on, the Rebels hanging on to go into half time with a 13 – 12 point lead. 3 shots at goal wasted by the Brumbies in the first half!
Third 20: 7.25/10
Ferocious defence dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half with both sides exchanging out of reach penalties awarded for infringements at the breakdown. The Brumbies converted one penalty which was within reach to take back the lead 12 – 15. The momentum was shifting in the Brumbies’ favour due to a notable increase in their urgency. Kurtley Beale then injured his shoulder tackling Nic White but chose to play through the pain. The Rebels’ sporadic moments of possession were unfortunately marred by disjointed attacking moves affording the Brumbies the lions share of possession. After an extended period of attacking play the Brumbies earned a shot at goal with the Rebels’ defensive line being offside which gave them a 5 point lead. James O’Connor then went off injured from a head/neck knock in a tackle.
Play began to open up with counter-attacking opportunities falling to both sides in end to end rugby.
Fourth 20: 7.5/10
The final stanza opened with Matt Toomua kicking long from his own 10 meter line. The kick was fumbled by the Rebels, fortunately falling to the hands of attacking Brumbies players that were running on and a few simple passes later Ben Mowen was over the line for a try which was converted. The score now 13 – 25.
The Rebels increased their attacking tempo yet the Brumbies’ defence seemed up to the challenge. After a Rebels infringement on their own 10 meter line, the Brumbies kicked to the corner now chasing a bonus point try. Tackler Jarrod Saffy fell on the wrong side of the ball 5 meters from his own line and was issued with a yellow card for cynical play. He may have been trapped in the tackle and as such it was a 50 50 call. The Brumbies could not score from the following passages of play. With Jarrod Saffy in the bin, James O’Connor off injured and Kurtley Beale playing injured the Rebels’ defence could not hold out much longer and minutes later the Brumbies fashioned an overlap to score in the corner for a full compliment of points from the match. The game was now out of reach and the conversion was missed, 13 points to 30 with 5 minutes to go.
Both sides continued with final attacking onslaughts at either end but the match closed out 13 points to 30 in the Brumbies favour.