VIDEO: 'We look very clever'
SUPER RUGBY REACTION: Rebels coach Dave Wessels was beaming after his team tactically outsmarted the Brumbies.
A Will Genia-inspired Melbourne side roared back from 3-19 down at half-time to stun the Brumbies on Friday.
The Rebels looked down and out, but a brace from Jack Maddocks and tries by Genia and Marika Koroibete, coupled with the trusty boot of Quade Cooper, handed them an unlikely 29-26 win in Melbourne.
The Rebels coach, Wessels, said his team’s game plan was always for a big finish, but he wasn’t happy with how they let the Brumbies control the first half.
“The plan of the game was to match their strengths, which is their set piece, early and then at the back end of the game, take the match away from them by speeding up the tempo,” Wessels explained.
“We look very clever because it worked but, in all honesty, I feel for the Brumbies a bit because they competed well in the first half.
“Probably the thing I’m most proud of is that we played 20 minutes with one man short and still finished playing at speed and looking like we still had more to give.”
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was shattered.
“It’s incredibly disappointing,” he said.
“We lacked composure and control at critical times.”
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Genia described the Rebels’ second win of the season over the Brumbies as a “really tight and tough contest”.
“The one thing we spoke about at half-time was to just keep our composure because we knew we would get our opportunity,” Genia said.
“We spoke about when we did get our opportunity to play at speed, because that is our point of difference.”
The Rebels leave on Saturday for two games in South Africa minus their Wallabies, who have a three-day camp in Sydney.
Lock Coleman suffered a head knock but should be fine to play the Lions in Johannesburg.
They played the Sharks in Durban a week later, before returning to Australia – where they will face the Reds in Brisbane on March 30.