Rugby: Brumbies' firsthalf blitz sets up win

Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies. Photo / Getty Images
Jesse Mogg of the Brumbies. Photo / Getty Images

The Brumbies reaffirmed their status as the form Australian team with a crushing 37-6 victory over the Melbourne Rebels.

It was a dominating performance by the Brumbies, who set up the win with a blistering four tries in just the opening half at Canberra Stadium.

The bonus-point victory also pushes the ACT franchise to 24 points at the top of the Australian conference table - three clear of the Queensland Reds and the NSW Waratahs - and gives them a boost just ahead of their two-week tour of South Africa.

The Brumbies posted a 30-6 halftime lead before putting the result out of doubt with 13 minutes to go when Scott Fardy crossed for his second try of the night.

The loss will undoubtedly ask questions of the Rebels, who have conceded their fifth loss of the season and also their eighth straight defeat while on the road.

Wallabies centre Pat McCabe was the first to score for the Brumbies in the 17th minute when he dived under the sticks from 10 metres out.

It sparked a flurry of activity from the home side, who then extended their lead to 23-6 after tries to Michael Hooper and Fardy - both within three minutes.

The Rebels, warned repeatedly for their infringements at the breakdown, then suffered another blow when referee Craig Joubert sin-binned skipper Gareth Delve 10 minutes before halftime.

Monster forward Fotu Auelua was unlucky not to be awarded a try moments later, but Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen made the most of the Rebels' mistakes by scoring from close range for a bonus-point try.

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.

-AAP

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