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The University of Canberra Brumbies are on the cusp of a home final after downing the Rebels 37-19 at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
While the shakeup of the finals is still unclear, what is certain is that the Brumbies will feature in playoffs rugby in 2013, with at the very minimum an away, post-season match now sewn up.
Two tries in the first half and four in the second cemented the win, with Scott Sio and Colby Faingaa claiming their first career five-pointers and Clyde Rathbone a classy brace.
Henry Speight claimed his 19th career try, while Zack Holmes also grabbed a five-pointer after coming into the match and turning momentum in the Brumbies favour, early in the second half.
Peter Kimlin, Sam Carter and Colby Faingaa were all outstanding, while Jesse Mogg and Rathbone also had strong games. Disappointingly, first time skipper Nic White left the field after 20 minutes with a shoulder complaint. More will be known on his injury on Saturday.
A miracle ball from Kimlin nudged him into Man of the Match reckoning but he can’t have been far in front of guys like Faingaa, Fardy and Mogg. Replacements Zack Holmes, Ruan Smith and Ian Prior impressed during their time on the field as did Pat McCabe in a showdown for the final six Wallabies spots to face the Lions.
After starting the better the team, the Brumbies let their foot off the throat for the backend of the first half but managed to reclaim momentum to bury the Rebels. Highlights for the visitors were a length of the field try to Tom English and a pick and drive over the line for prop, Paul Alo-Emile.
“It’s a relief to know that we’ve sealed a playoffs spot, where that is and how we’ll be in the mix is another matter. It’s nice to have this four week break without it hanging over our heads,” Head Coach Jake White said.
“There were plenty of guys tonight who have been waiting for an opportunity and it’s so pleasing to see them take it with both hands.
“We have the Lions now, that side hasn’t been beaten by and Australian provincial side in many, many years so it’s just another chance for the Brumbies to move forward and achieve our goals.”
Starting the stronger side with tries to Sio and Rathbone, the Brumbies looked like they might creep away with a big lead. But a late first-half slump let the Melbourne side into the match with the score 10-3 at halftime it was still anyone’s game.
University of Canberra Brumbies 39 (Clyde Rathbone 2, Scott Sio, Henry Speight, Colby Faingaa, Zack Holmes tries; Jesse Mogg penalty; Ian Prior 3 conversions) bt Rebels 17 (Tom English, Paul Alo-Emile tries; Jason Woodward penalty, 2 conversions) at Canberra Stadium last night. Referee: Rohan Hoffmann. Crowd: 11,055
University of Canberra Brumbies
1. Scott Sio
2. Siliva Siliva (replaced by Josh Mann-Rea)
3. Dan Palmer (replaced by Ruan Smith)
4. Leon Power (replaced by Etienne Oosthuizen)
5. Sam Carter (replaced by Jordan Smiler)
6. Scott Fardy
7. Colby Faingaa
8. Peter Kimlin
9. Nic White (c) (replaced by Ian Prior)
10. Matt Toomua (replaced by Pat McCabe)
11. Clyde Rathbone (replaced by Robbie Coleman)
12. Pat McCabe (replaced by Zack Holmes, blood)
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Jesse Mogg
16. Josh Mann-Rea
17. Ruan Smith
18. Etienne Oosthuizen
19. Jordan Smiler
20. Ian Prior
21. Robbie Coleman
22. Zack Holmes
Brumbies v Rebels
Friday June 7 2013
Minute by Minute Stats
Start Time: 7.40pm
Weather: Clear, cold
Referee: Rohan Hoffman
Brumbies: 39 Rebels: 17
Tries: Sio(4min), Rathbone Tries: English (45min)
(11min, 48min), Speight Alo_Emile (69min)
(53min), Faingaa (57min)
Mogg 0/2 Prior 3/4 Woodward 2/2
Penalty Goals: Penalty Goals:
Mogg 1/1 Woodward 1/1
Drop Goals: Drop Goals:
Penalties For: 2 Penalties For: 7
As it happened
4th Min: Try to the Brumbies. Scott Sio Scores.
Brumbies: 5 Rebels: 0
5th Min: Jesse Mogg misses the conversion.
9th Min: Penalty to the Rebels for Brumbies offside. Rebs kick for touch.
10th Min: Ian Prior replaces Nic White.
11th Min: Try to the Brumbies, Clyde Rathbone scores in the corner.
Brumbies: 10 Rebels: 0
12th Min: Mogg Misses the conversion.
20th Min: Penalty to the Rebels, 10m for Brumbies line. Rebels opt for penalty goal.
21st Min: Penalty kick successful by Jason Woodward.
Brumbies: 10 Rebels: 3
24th Min: Penalty to the Rebels, they kick for touch.
28th Min: Knock on by Brumbies prop Scott Sio, scrum to Rebels.
33rd Min: Penalty to the Rebels, player not releasing the ball. Rebels kick for touch.
Half Time Brumbies: 10 Rebels: 3
42nd Min: Penalty to Brumbies. Mogg converts.
Brumbies: 13 Rebels: 3
45th Min: Try to the Rebels. Conversion successful.
Brumbies: 13 Rebels: 10
49th Min: Second try to Brumbies winger Clyde Rathbone. Receives a long ball from Matt Toomua and scores in the corner.
Brumbies: 18 Rebels: 10
50th Min: Ian Prior misses the conversion.
53rd Min: Bonus point try to the Brumbies. Henry Speight scores a brilliant solo try.
Brumbies: 23 Rebels: 10
54th Min: Prior converts the try.
Brumbies: 25 Rebels: 10
57th Min: Try to Brumbies flanker Colby Faingaa. Recieves a short ball from Peter Kimlin and beats three tacklers to score under the posts.
Brumbies: 30 Rebels: 10
58th Min: Prior converts.
Brumbies: 32 Rebels: 10
62nd Min: Penalty to the Brumbies from a scrum. Brums kick for touch.
64th Min: Try to the Brumbies, replacement Zack Holmes easily beats the defence to score.
Brumbies: 37 Rebels: 10
65th Min: Prior converts.
Brumbies: 39 Rebels: 10
68th Min: Penalty to the Rebels for Brumbies player not rolling away. Rebels kick for touch.
69th Min: Second try of the game to the Rebels. Replacement prop Paul Alo-Emile scoring for a pick and drive.
70th Min: Woodward converts.
Brumbies: 39 Rebels: 17
72nd Min: Penalty to the Rebels for a Brumbies player off their feet at the ruck. Rebels kick for touch.
Full Time Brumbies: 39 Rebels: 17