Brumbies move clear
Rebels make conference leaders work hard
Last Updated: 01/06/12 1:30pm
The Brumbies extended their lead at the top of the Australian Conference although they had to work hard for their 27-19 win over the Rebels.
With the Rebels having suffered a humiliating defeat last time out to the Hurricanes, the Brumbies will have fancied their chances of clinching a bonus-point win in Melbourne.
In the end, though, they will have been happy to settle for the victory itself as the Rebels put up a gallant fight.
Andrew Smith and Robbie Coleman crossed for tries, with Zach Holmes slotting over 11 points and Jesse Mogg adding two penalties.
The Rebels were only 14-12 down at the break, with Julian Huxley landing 14 points with the boot and Cooper Vuna scoring their only try.
The Brumbies had raced into a 9-0 lead via penalties from Holmes and Mogg before the Rebels responded through Huxley.
Smith, though, crossed for the opening try on 25 minutes after a 10-phase spell to see the visitors in to a 14-3 lead.
Huxley kept chipping away at the deficit, while James Hilgendorf had a try disallowed just before the interval by the TMO.
However the Brumbies gave themselves some breathing space after the interval as Holmes added another penalty and then slotted over the conversion when Coleman crossed.
Vuna, though, responded within two minutes and Huxley converted to cut the arrears to five.
The Rebels kept plugging away but they couldn't find the way through - and Holmes sealed the win with another penalty with seven minutes left.
"That's four points in this competition, and that's incredibly hard to do," Brumbies captain Ben Mowen said.
"Melbourne is a hard place to play at home. You have to make sure you are ticking those wins over, and I'm pleased we did that tonight."