ACT Brumbies cruise to victory over Melbourne Rebels

Highlights from the Round 1 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Melbourne Rebels and Brumbies

The ACT Brumbies have taken a 30-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park to start their season strong.

Corey Toole broke the Rebels early with a great chip and chase try in the third minute.

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Toole's second came shortly afterwards as the Rebels failed to break the Brumbies line despite constant opportunities.

Charlie Cale shone with a double as they closed out the game to earn the bonus point.

Cale's late try sealed the 27-point win as they turn their focus towards the Chiefs next week.

Melbourne had plenty of possession in the first half but let themselves down with loose play and errors while their highly-rated forward pack failed to fire.

They struggled to give the Rebels' halves Carter Gordon and England international Jack Maunder front-foot ball and lost three of their own line-outs and a further two in the second half.

Brumbies five-eighth Noah Lolesio, who spent the off-season playing with French side Toulon, out-shone Carter in their head-to-head battle, with Melbourne's World Cup No.10 out of sorts.

In a scrappy showing from both sides, the Brumbies raced to a 17-3 halftime lead with speedster Toole crossing twice.

New Rebels recruit Filipo Daugunu was given a spell in the 26th minute for a dangerous tackle on Brumbies flanker Luke Reimer, while an off-side Brumbies centre Len Ikitau was also given a yellow card after repeated team warnings.

While neither side capitalised on their one-man advantage, the Brumbies were able to push the lead out to 25-3 in the 53rd minute through No.8 Cale.

Melbourne's night looked to have grown still worse when star signing Taniela Tupou went down with a hand injury, but the prop managed to recover and play out the match.

Tupou noted after the game he lost feeling in his hand but seemed optimistic it was just a knock.

Rebels skipper Rob Leota looked to have scored a season-opening try for his team but it was denied after the Television Match Official picked up that Vaiolini Ekuasi had impeded the Brumbies defence. 

Cale then grabbed his second try, lurking on the wing as the ACT stretched the Rebels defence to seal an impressive win.

"The boys have been training well for a long time now and we had a good combination out on the field, so we were expecting to do well, but you never really know," Larkham said

"We got a lot of things right tonight - it's a good start."

BRUMBIES 30

TRIES: Toole 2, Cale 2

CONS: Lolesio 2/3, Meredith 0/1

PENS: Lolesio 2/2

REBELS 3

PENS: Gordon 1/2

MELBOURNE REBELS V ACT BRUMBIES TEAMS

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Filipo Daugunu, 12 David Feliuai, 11 Glen Vaihu, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Rob Leota (captain), 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Josh Canham, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Matt Gibbson

Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Isaac Kailea, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake Strachan, 23 Nick Jooste

Brumbies: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Ollie Sapsford, 11 Corey Toole, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan (captain), 8 Charlie Cale, 7 Luke Reimer, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Tom Hooper, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Rhys Van Nek, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 James Slipper

Replacements: 16 Billy Pollard, 17 Blake Schoupp, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jahrome Brown, 21 Klayton Thorn, 22 Declan Meredith, 23 Tamati Tua

Referee: Angus Gardner

Assistant Referees: Matt Kellahan, George Myers

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