2/26/2011

Rebels with a cause pip CA Technologies Brumbies


The CA Technologies Brumbies have been beaten by newcomers the Melbourne Rebels after a see-sawing match where the lead changed hands six times.

It was a penalty goal in the final minute by English recruit Danny Cipriani which sealed the fate of the CA Technologies Brumbies, who had held the lead by two points with one minute left on the clock.

After the Rebels turned in an ordinary performance last week against the Waratahs, the CA Technologies Brumbies had been favourites to claim a win in Melbourne, but it appears Cipriani, Stirling Mortlock and Head Coach Rod Macqueen had other ideas when they took the field on Friday evening.

As they did in Week One against the Waratahs, the Rebels started the game competitively earning the glut of possession and field position during the opening quarter.

And when CA Technologies Brumbies prop Ben Alexander rested his hand on the ground during a scrum, it looked as if the Rebels would register their first ever points through the boot of Danny Cipriani.

While that shot sailed to the right of the sticks and Matt Giteau followed almost immediately with three points of his own, it was just five minutes later Cipriani landed the Rebels first ever points with another penalty – this time the CA Technologies Brumbies being called off side inside their own 22.

Referee Jonathan Kaplan was not afraid to use his whistle, awarding the Rebels seven opportunities to kick for goal throughout the match, of which Cipriani landed six.

Cipriani’s personal total of 20 points has given the media something else to write about rather than several off-field misdemeanours which were reported throughout the week.

When it looked like the two teams would head to the break level, Pat McCabe found himself on the end of some lovely work from Matt Giteau to score in the corner. The kick was converted and the CA Technologies Brumbies headed to the break leading 16-9.

The CA Technologies Brumbies started the second half in control, mounting pressure well into Rebels territory. But mistakes again let the CA Technologies Brumbies down, handing the ball back to the Melbourne side without turning possession into points.

Within minutes the ball was back in the CA Technologies Brumbies half, with Cipriani adding six more points through two penalties to the Rebels score, bringing them back to 16-15.

A Giteau drop-goal in the 54th minute supplied some breathing space, but the relentless Rebels attack persisted at the CA Technologies Brumbies line, with former ACT Captain Mortlock grabbing Melbourne’s first ever try just left of the posts to give the Rebels the lead.

The CA Technologies Brumbies hit back again with another try to Henry Speight – his career first – but it wasn’t enough with Kaplan awarding the Rebels a penalty right in front of the posts for Cipriani to claim a maiden win for Melbourne.

Rebels 25 (S Mortlock try; D Cipriani 6 pens, 1 con) bt CA Technologies Brumbies 24 (P McCabe, H Speight tries; Giteau 3 pens, 1 dg, 1 con).

CA Technologies Brumbies
1. Ben Alexander
2. Steve Moore
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Salesi Ma’afu)
4. Ben Hand
5. Mark Chisholm (replaced by Peter Kimlin)
6. Mitch Chapman
7. Julian Salvi (replaced by Colby Faingaa)
8. Ita Vaea 
9. Josh Valentine (replaced by Patrick Phibbs)
10. Matt Giteau ©
11. Francis Fainifo
12. Robbie Coleman (replaced by Matt Toomua)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Henry Speight
15. Pat McCabe

Reserves
16. Huia Edmonds
17. Salesi Ma'afu
18. Peter Kimlin
19. Colby Faingaa
20. Patrick Phibbs
21. Matt Toomua
22. Andrew Smith

Rebels
1. Nic Hendreson
2. Ged Robinson
3. Greg Sommerville
4. Adam Byrnes
5. Kevin O’Neill
6. Jarrod Saffy
7. Michael Lipman
8. Gareth Delve
9. Nick Phopps
10. Danny Cipriani
11. Cooper Vuna
12. Julian Huxley
13. Stirling Mortlock
14. Lachlan Mitchell
15. Mark Gerrard

Reserves
16. Heath Tessman
17. Laurie Weeks
18. Alister Campbell
19. Tom Chamberlin
20. Richard Kingi
21. Afusipa Taumoepeau
22. Luke Rooney