ACT Brumbies

Brumbies v. Rebels – The Amigos come to town

Brumbies v. Rebels – The Amigos come to town

The three amigos in the Melbourne Rebels team of James O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Danny Cipriani head across the Rio Grande to Canberra with 19 of their mates to take on the Brumbies who are looking to get their season back on track.

After back to back defeats against the Sharks and Reds, the Brumbies have made six changes to their starting side to battle with a confident Rebels side. Brumbies coach Jake White has put Michael Hooper back in the seven jersey to try and win the battle of the breakdown, an area the Brumbies were soundly beaten by the Reds last week.

White is also unleashing the wrecking ball Fotu Auelua who has taken some time to get to SupeRugby level after suffering a knee injury whilst playing in Japan during the off season. Auelua is renowned for his physicality and in a recent club game knocked out an opposing player attempting to tackle him, all within the opening 30 seconds of the match.

Also coming into the second row is Scott Fardy who has been rather impressive when given the chance this season. The naming of Fardy and Auelua appears to point to brutal forwards battle and White has the option of bringing Ita Vaea off the bench, which appears to be his preferred style of play this year. Captain Ben Mowen makes way for Auelua and moves to blindside flanker.

The Rebels are full of confidence after belting a disappointing Auckland Blues outfit in Melbourne last week. The one area they wouldn’t be happy with is their scrum which was shunted around on numerous occasions. The visitors have suffered an injury crisis in the props department with Laurie Weeks out for an extended period with a shoulder injury with Eddie Aholelei coming in from the EPS and take his place on the bench.

The backline has remained unchanged and this could be the key if they are to knock off the conference topping Brumbies. The combination of Cipriani and O’Connor is starting to click and with their kicking game could frustrate the Brumbies, but if this is their plan they need to be wary of Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg who – despite an off game last week – can be dangerous in broken play if given the chance.


Brumbies: 15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Joe Tomane, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Nic White, 8. Fotu Auelua, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Ben Mowen (c), 5. Scott Fardy, 4. Sam Carter, 3. Dan Palmer, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ruaidhri Murphy.
Res: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Ben Alexander, 18. Peter Kimlin, 19. Ita Vaea, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Andrew Smith.

Rebels: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Lachlan Mitchell, 13. Mitch Inman, 12. James O’Connor, 11. Mark Gerrard, 10. Dougie Danny Cipriani, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Gareth Delve (c), 7. Jarrod Saffy, 6. Luke Jones, 5. Hugh Pyle, 4. Al Campbell, 3. Rodney Blake, 2. Ged Robinson, 1. Nic Henderson.
Res: 16. Luke Holmes, 17. Eddie Aholelei, 18. Michael Lipman, 19. Tim Davidson, 20. Richard Kingi, 21. Julian Huxley, 22. Lloyd Johansson.


The match will be played on Saturday night at Canberra Stadium with kick off at 7:40pm. The conditions in the Capital are starting to cool down so it may be necessary to rug up out at kelvinator castle. Or you could stay home and watch it on Fox Sports 3.

Word Cup Final referee Craig Joubert will control the match and hopefully allow the game to flow after being able to find a car park out the front.

Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Aus), Damien Mitchelmore (Aus)
TMO: Steve Lesczcynski (Aus)

Game Breaker

The Wallaby inside centre battle will be one to watch with the bloke, who some observers believe, should be there up against the guy who is – Of course I’m referring to Pat McCabe and James O’Connor. Both players play a very different style of game and whoever gets front foot ball will be most dangerous.

The fearless prediction

As usual in an Australian conference match, all three results are possible. The Jekyll and Hyde performances of the Rebels are a concern and are playing away from home where they have only recorded one win. Consistency will be their downfall in this one and I can see the Brumbies winning by seven.

ACT Brumbies

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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