Brumbies vs Rebels: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies sealed their quarter-final spot with a bonus-point win over the Rebels on Saturday night.

What are we talking about after the Saturday night Canberra derby?

1. Larkham a silent assassin

The Brumbies were picked by next to no one to be even competitive in the Australian conference this season, with a squad devoid of big-name players. Yet here we are with two games left and they’re unbeatable at the top of the Australian conference, sealing a quarter-final spot with Saturday night’s win. These players felt they had something to prove to the rest of the competition and they’ve done it. As much as anything, though, this might be a glimpse of exactly why Stephen Larkham is earmarked to be the next Wallabies coach  - he seems alright at this caper.

2. Koroi-beating proves Michael Cheika right

Marika Koroibete was a standout for the Rebels. Photo: Getty ImagesMarika Koroibete showed on Saturday night why he’s been thrown into the Wallabies squad for the June Series. The winger has improved each week in a battling team and has managed to try and make an impact where some of his teammates on the edges haven’t been able. A massive hit on Brumbies fullback Tom Banks showed some of the physical power he possesses in defence, one of eight tackles he made on Saturday night.

3. Alcock does the hard yards

Chris Alcock has been immense for the Brumbies this year and his defensive statistics reflected another night of influence. Alcock had 21 tackles for the Brumbies against the Rebels, as well as a sneaky three turnovers in the clash, that proved pivotal for the home side in their finals quest.

4. Lucky 13 for Kuridrani

Tevita Kuridrani has all but sealed the Wallabies outside centre jersey for the opening Test, after another impressive Brumbies performance. Even before Samu Kerevi’s cruel twist of injury fate , Kuridrani was neck-and-neck with his long-time friend and Queensland counterpart. Now, though, there is next to no competition. The incumbent will have another crack next week.

5. Silver bullet no maul for Brumbies

The Brumbies have found a way to score tries in the past three weeks, racking up 13 of their 38 tries against the Jaguares, Kings and Rebels and conceding just three along the way. But it’s the way they’ve been scoring that shows a progression in the Brumbies attack. The rolling mauls have their place, but they’re now just one way the Canberra side has of scoring.