Super W: Brumbies edge out the Rebels in a thriller

Captains from the President's XV and Reds share their thoughts on the match

The ACT Brumbies snapped a penalty goal in the final minute of the game to clinch an incredible 8-10 victory over the Melbourne Rebels. 

It was a heartbreaker for the Melbourne Rebels, who had to stand by as teenage sensation Teliya Hetaraka kicked the Brumbies into the lead. The Rebels had their own chance to sew up the game, pulling ahead not minutes before thanks to a Georgia Cormick penalty goal. 

In a throwback to junior rugby and fourth grade, the Brumbies and Rebels met early in the morning for this clash. 

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The Brumbies were looking to course-correct after a disappointing Super W campaign that netted them only one win. Meanwhile, the Rebels were playing for pride, with an opportunity to stamp their mark on the competition.

The Rebels had all the possession early, pinning the Brumbies in their half and applying the pressure. The Brumbies struggled to exit and kept giving the ball back to the Rebels. 

The brumbies hard-nosed defence were able to hold off wave after wave of attack, but the Rebels kept on coming, exposing the Brumbies slow rate in the ruck. 

The Rebels spent the whole first half camped in Brumbies territory and finally broke the deadlock in the thirty-first minute. Off the back of an attacking lineout, Rebels flyhalf Jade Te Aute created a well-worked wrap-around move to set up young winger Kelera Ratu in the corner for the first try of the game.

The Brumbies finally ventured into the Rebels half after a long-range kick pinned the Rebels in their 22. The Brumbies came hard at the Rebels but they stood tough to prevent them from scoring in the first half, with Rebels skipper Mel Kawa fearless over the ball. 

The Brumbies turned the tables on the Rebels to start the second half, with the Rebels forced to defend their line against a hard-running Brumbies attack. 

The first attacking opportunity came off a Brumbies lineout. The Rebels chose not to contest the maul, and Brumbies skipper Michaela Leonard went right through to cross the line. After appearing to score at first, after consultation with the touch judge, she was denied a try after being ruled to be held up.

The Brumbies kept at it, camping in Rebels territory, and they were finally rewarded in the sixty-sixth minute.

Frustrated by multiple raids into the Rebels 22 to no avail, Brumbies flyhalf Teliya Hetaraka took it upon herself to put in a grubber down the sideline past the encroaching Rebels defence. A deflection off Brumbies winger Tess Staines bounced fortuitously for Hetaraka and she was able to pounce on it to score. A successful conversion from Ash Bishop put the Brumbies in front. 

It was an exciting finish, with the Rebels pack earning a penalty against the scrum late in the game. Skipper Mel Kawa immediately pointed to the sticks, and halfback Georgia Cormick stepped up to slot the penalty, putting the Rebels ahead with less than two minutes to play. 

However, there was plenty more to play, with the Brumbies marching down the park off some strong carries. Cruelly, it was Mel Kawa who was ruled to be off her feet, giving away a penalty when going for the ball in the ruck. Teenage flyhalf Hetaraka slotted the penalty from in front to clinch a late victory for the Brumbies. 

A heartbroken Mel Kawa praised the Rebels spirit and promised they would be back better and stronger in next year’s Super W competition. The relief was palpable on Brumbies skipper Micheala Leonard's face, as the Brumbies signed off their season in winning fashion.

Buildcorp Super W Round Four: Rebels vs Brumbies

Saturday 2 July 9:00 am AEST – Rebels v Brumbies at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport

REBELS (1-15): Janita Kareta, Ashley Marsters, Eirenei Nanai, Nuala O’Connor, Tiarah Minns, Michaela Maunsell, Melanie Kawa (c), Willow Rowland, Georgia Cormack, Jade Te Aute, Kelera Ratu, Allysaa Loliesio-Pua, Annie Buntine, Amy Williams, Jemma Collins,

Reserves: Emily Harvey, Celeste Utumapu, Maryann Utai, Norma Fuaiva’a, Nawel Remini, Nawel Remini, Kessica Campbell, Kirsty Matapa, Sarah Hogan

INs: Nawel Remini, Jessica Campbell

OUTs: Rosalia Leumuava, Utumalfata Eli

BRUMBIES (1-15): Iris Verebalavu, Harriet Elleman, Louise Burrows, Ash Fernandez, Emily Sogal, Michaela Leonard (c), Rebecca Smyth, Grace Kemp, Jane Garraway, Teliya Heteraka, Hailey Derera, Siokapesi Palu, Talei Qalo Wilson, Tess Staines, Ash Bishop

Reserves: Montana Ojeda, Niki Paterson, Kimberley Fyfe, Zali Waihape-Andrews, Pearl Rakete, Susannah Cooke, Apryll Green, Claudia Obst

INs: Ash Bishop

OUTs: Ella Ryan

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