Super Rugby: Brumbies complete comprehensive victory to go top
By Ben Hampshire. Last Updated: 08/06/13 8:10am
The Brumbies produced an imperious performance as they ran in six tries to complete a 39-17 victory over the Melbourne Rebels in Canberra on Friday.
The Australian Conference leaders made a commanding start when Scott Sio turned over and attacked a vulnerable Rebels defence. The Brumbies made 70 metres as they raced through three phases before prop Sio touched down in the corner to complete his first try of the campaign.
Brumbies scrum-half Nic White was withdrawn inside the opening 10 minutes when an awkward landing appeared to dislocate his shoulder. The blow could subsequently squander any hopes of a Wallabies call-up with the Test series against the British and Irish Lions fast approaching.
However, the loss of White did not thwart the Brumbies' progress as Matt Toomua's offload found Clyde Rathbone who powered over to register a second try for the hosts as they opened a ten-point gap between the sides.
Having spent the majority of the first period on the back foot the Rebels finally registered on the scoreboard when Jason Woodward's penalty dissected the uprights to keep the visitors alive at the break.
An uncharacteristic slip from the Brumbies early in the second period gifted the ball to Woodward who raced past the half-way line before finding Tom English, who flew over the line to score the first Rebels try of the night. Woodward sealed the conversion to take the Rebels within three points of the Brumbies.
Rathbone was on hand to complete his brace before Henry Speight slipped through a double tackle to run in the bonus point try for the Brumbies.
As the Rebels defence looking increasingly penetrable Colby Faingaa took advantage of some slack defending to break through three challenges and score a fifth try for the hosts, before Zack Holmes added his name to the scoresheet.
With the game all but secure the Brumbies relaxed their defence and the Rebels took advantage as Paul Alo-Emile crossed for what could only be a consolation try with the siren fast approaching.
The comprehensive victory takes the Brumbies to the head of the Super Rugby table but the Chiefs and Bulls are close behind with games in hand.
Super Rugby 2013 Round 17
The Waratahs kept their slim play-off hopes alive by beating Australian rivals Western Force 28-13 in Perth on Sunday.
The Brumbies beat the rebels 39-17 to secure a bonus-point win and end an eight-year finals drought.
The Brumbies have made five changes for Friday's Super Rugby clash against the Rebels in Canberra.