The Brumbies snatched the win over the Melbourne Rebels with one of the more remarkable finishes you will ever see.
But what did we learn from Saturday night at GIO Stadium?
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1. Lonergan a match-winner
That kick was unbelievable. On the angle, on halfway – having to kick it over the crossbar. 55 metres? 60 metres? In swirling GIO wind as well!! While the kick was genuinely one of the more incredible things we have ever seen, you can’t forget the Ryan Lonergan inside flick to Tom Banks for the Brumbies try. It was Gregan-esque. So perfectly timed that it had the Rebels defence at sixes-and-sevens.
2. Marika magic
Marika might be a winger but there’s no sea gulling by Koroibete. He throws himself into everything and it was no different against the Brumbies. We really didn’t learn this tonight – we now just expect it really – but his performance at GIO was once again world class.
3. Allan’s ill discipline
You will never see a clearer red card. The Brumbies skipper has been faultless as captain in Canberra, but he had a brain fade on Saturday night. Big Pone Fa’amausili was looking for some contact when he found some space in the middle just before half-time, but Alaalatoa’s tackle was the perfect example of what not to do.. No arms, on the chin, gone for the game, no complaints in Canberra.
4. Red card law quirk
Speaking of the red card, Allan was sent for an early shower on the 40th minute but was replaced at the 60th minute, as the new law variation allows. However, Fa’amausili went off for a Head Injury Assessment and couldn’t return. While the law variation has been golden so far, it just didn’t sit right that the Rebels lost a player for the game, but the Brumbies went back to the full complement for the last twenty minutes of the match.
5. Rebels are a contender
The Rebels rocked the Reds last weekend, and really should have won it. Then, after weeks on the road, they head right into the lion’s den to face the defending champions at their fortress. They grind out games but play to their strengths, and still have a few stars in the injury ward at the moment too. Next weekend will be a massive test against a Force side that’s full of confidence and at home for the first time in Super Rugby in four years.
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