Super Rugby
Brumbies hold on in scrappy win in Melbourne
ESPN Staff
February 28, 2015
Date/Time: Feb 28, 2015, 19:40 local, 08:40 GMT
Venue: Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies
Half-time: 6 - 13
Pens: Harris 5
Tries: Butler, Kuridrani
Cons: Leali'ifano 2
Pens: Leali'ifano 2
Tevita Kuridrani of the Brumbies breaks through a tackle by Nick Stirzaker of the Rebels to score a try, Melbourne Rebels v Brumbies, Super Rugby, AAMI Park, Melbourne, February 28, 2015
Tevita Kuridrani breaks through Nic Stirzacker's tackle to score a try
© Getty Images

The rugby gods have smiled on the Brumbies, as the visitors at AAMI Park held on for a gutsy 20-15 win over the Melbourne Rebels in their clash. Last round, the Brumbies looked as if they had a win in the bag over the Chiefs until a penalty kick after the siren forced them to settle for a 19-17 loss.

This time, the Brumbies managed to hold off the rampant Rebels after regular time to book their second win of the season.

The Canberra team were on the wrong side of possession and territory percentages but ahead all night where it counted - the scoreboard. While it wasn't a game for the showreel, the Brumbies were happy to bide their time and wait for one of the Rebels' many errors and strike when the opportunity arose.

They had just 14 seconds in Melbourne's attacking 22 in the first half and still managed to lead 13-6 thanks to a 20th-minute try to centre Tevita Kuridrani with a move off a line-out.

Just like last week against the reigning champions the Waratahs, the Rebels were still in the match in the final 10 minutes. They kept the ball in play for 17 phases after the siren, unable to get across the tryline but earning a penalty. The thrilling finale ended when they turned the ball over in the next play.

The Rebels put the Brumbies' defence under serious pressure early on, but weren't able to capitalise in a frustrating showing. They had a would-be try by winger Tom English called back due to a knock-on and then lock Luke Jones was held up over the tryline,

As the rain started to fall over Melbourne, the Rebels closed the gap early in the second half to 13-9 through a penalty strike by Mike Harris. But they took a step backwards when they lost Scott Higginbotham to a yellow card for collapsing a maul.

The skipper had been warned by referee Steve Walsh in the first half to "sort your penalties out". Straight after the No.8 left the field, Brumbies flanker Jarrad Butler scored at the back of a rolling maul. He almost got another six minutes later in an identical move, but the Television Match Official ruled he had dropped the ball across the line.

Melbourne Rebels 15-20 Brumbies (video only available in Australia)

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