Brumbies 37 Rebels 6
Over ... Michael Hooper scores for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images
THE ACT Brumbies ignited Canberra Stadium with vintage attacking flair and stole back first place in the Australian conference by demolishing Melbourne Rebels last night.
In a ruthless and clinical performance, the Brumbies tore the Rebels apart in the first half and cruised to an easy win. They upstaged their opponents in every facet and collected a bonus point for scoring four tries before half-time. It was their fourth win of the season with Jake White charge.
Jolted ... Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies drops the ball in the tackle. Photo: Getty Images
Last year it took a superstar-laden Brumbies 17 games to notch four victories. Under White's guidance and with a revamped young roster, the Brumbies have now won four of their seven games and unexpectedly are the leading Australian team.
Their 37-point haul was their highest score in two years and their defence was equally impressive as they kept a Rebels back line containing James O'Connor, Kurtley Beale and Danny Cipriani tryless.
For the first seven games under White the Brumbies have played conservatively and all of their matches were decided by seven points or less. But a week after a horror turnover rate saw them stumble against the defending champion Queensland Reds, the Brumbies grew in confidence as they powered to victory.
Brumbies v Rebels gallery
It was an unhappy return to Canberra Stadium for ex-Brumby Stirling Mortlock. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
The Rebels had less than 30 per cent possession in the opening half. They looked unorganised and even when they got good field position they squandered their chances and were out of the game before the break.
The try-scoring spree eased off in the second half as the Reds got more possession and field position. But the result was never in doubt.
The Brumbies fly to South Africa tomorrow to play the Pretoria Bulls and Johannesburg Lions over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, Tom Taylor not only replaced Dan Carter last night but outshone the All Blacks star. Taylor scored all the Crusaders' points in their 31-24 win over the Stormers in Christchurch, equalling the Super record.
The Brumbies reaffirmed their status as the form Australian team with a crushing 37-6 Super Rugby victory over the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday night.
BRUMBIES 37 (Scott Fardy 2, Michael Hooper, Pat McCabe, Ben Mowen tries Christian Lealiifano 3 cons 2 pens) bt MELBOURNE REBELS 6 (Danny Cipriani, James O'Connor pens) at Canberra Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert. Crowd: 14,011.