Brumbies vs Rebels – Super Rugby – 7 February 2020

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It looked from the start that it was going to be a one-sided slaughter. The Brumbies rushed out to a 24-0 lead without really breaking a sweat and the Rebels looked completely out of sorts. They did claw back a try to go into the shed trailing 24-7.

The Brumbies were however impressive throughout the contest (well most of it) and really took a step up from last week. The Tom Banks try was just a precursor of what was to come and at no point did the Rebels look like they would threaten.

The tries either side of half-time was encouraging to see from the Rebels, but you never got the impression that they would kick on from there.

A little credit needs to go the Rebels way for the two tries that they scored either side of half-time, but this was countered shortly after by a try by the Brumbies in the corner.

The attack from the Rebels was very predictable most of the time and their almost-3rd-try was from a well-worked maul. A glimmer of hope, yes… but enough to turn the game around? Maybe…

Brumbies are on the up…

The Brumbies had a FAR better display than in week 1. There was intensity across the park. It was not flawless, but they must be commended for the huge step up taken in a single week.

Last week they looked average at best and unlikely to achieve any results that weren’t against other struggling Australian teams. They do however look like they are on the up and have shed a lot of the rust that showed in week 1.

Stumbling Rebels early contenders for the wooden spoon

How do you turn things around when you lose to the Sunwolves in week 1, then you get ripped to shreds by the Brumbies in week 2?

They need to take a step back and breathe first. They have a couple of senior players that need to take a step up and lead the group of youngers back from the brink.

Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua and Marika Koroibete form the core of the most exciting backline in Australia and should be dominating.

The mix of youngsters and experienced campaigner in their forwards need to make the step up and provide more quality for their backs to work with. The responsibility sits on Ruan Smith and Isi Naisarani’s shoulders.

Outstanding players

Brumbies: Folau Fainga’a (2), Thomas Cusack (7), Noah Lolesio (10), Solomone Kata (14), Tom Banks (15),

Rebels: [crickets chirping…] I know that is harsh, but when you possess that much quality across the park and don’t pitch up for the game, no one deserves a shout out

ThysRugby player of the game: Solomone Kata

Best plays of the game

  • The two tries either side of half-time by the Rebels. It showed that there is hope and that they didn’t give up… it just didn’t last
  • Recovery from Brumbies after the quick 2 tries to set up the Folau Fainga’a try in the corner after 15 minutes in the 2nd half

Final verdict

Brumbies: They impressed with the improvement from week 1. It was a team effort that deserves credit and currently, it doesn’t look like there will be any opposition in the Australian conference to threaten their continued dominance.

Rebels: Where do you go from here? It would be difficult to fall further, so the only way to go is up. With the rare glimpses that they showed and the quality that they possess, they should forgive themselves for these first two weeks… wipe the slate clean and put on the big-boy pants.