Melbourne - The Melbourne Rebels produced a stunning second half fightback to beat the Brumbies in their Super Rugby clash at AAMI Park on Friday.
As it happened: Rebels v Brumbies
The Rebels looked down and out but a brace from Jack Maddocks and tries by Will Genia and Marika Koroibete, coupled with the trusty boot of Quade Cooper, handed them an unlikely 29-26 win.
It allowed them to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and overshadowed Folau Fainga'a becoming the first Brumbies forward to score tries in four consecutive games.
The Brumbies, coming off a heavy defeat to the Hurricanes last weekend, were by far the better side in the first half with Henry Speight bursting down the wing for the breakthrough on 17 minutes.
Cooper converted a easy penalty to pull three points back but when Adam Coleman was yellow carded for offside the Brumbies took full advantage, snatching another try from a lineout drive with hooker Fainga'a flopping over to set his own little piece of history.
Then in a rolling maul on the half-time hooter, Matt Gibbon ripped the ball from the hands of Fainga'a as he went for the line and gave away a seven-point penalty try.
He got 10 minutes in the sin bin, leaving the Rebels to start the second-half a man down.
But they were pumped up and Koroibete shrugged off three tackles to get a try within a minute of the restart. And when Jack Maddocks crossed in the corner 10 minutes later it was game on at 19-15.
Rob Valetini extended the Brumbies lead before the crafty Genia took a quick-tap penalty and darted between the posts. Genia directed the action and when Maddocks got his second try to finally put them in front with 10 minutes left there was no way back for the Brumbies.
In next weekend's action, the Rebels travel to Johannesburg to tackle the Lions (Saturday, March 16 - 15:05), while the Brumbies tackle the Waratahs in Canberra (Friday, March 15 - 10:45).
Tries: Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks (2), Will Genia
Conversions: Quade Cooper (3)
Tries: Henry Speight, Folau Faingaa, penalty try, Rob Valetini
Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (2)
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Matt Gibbon
Substitutes: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Richard Hardwick, 22 Michael Ruru, 23 Reece Hodge
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Tom Wright, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Tom Cusack, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Chance Peni