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Brumbies punish Rebels in Super Rugby penalty-fest

The ACT Brumbies have defeated Melbourne 53-17 despite having three men yellow-carded in a GIO Stadium penalty-fest.

The Rebels were unable to capitalize on their numerical advantage and must now wait for results elsewhere before they can celebrate securing their maiden Super Rugby Pacific finals berth.

The financially-stricken club’s potentially final-ever season is starting to slip away from them with Friday night’s loss their fifth straight.

Coach Kevin Foote and his charges will be desperate to turn their performances around and treat their long-suffering fans to a fairytale finals run before the club potentially enters financial oblivion at season’s end.

The Brumbies’ defense stood firm when it mattered, scoring three tries in a seven-minute blitz to end the first half while the visitors had one of their own players in the bin.

Jahrome Brown crossed for the first try of the game following his initial linebreak.

The Rebels were racking up the penalties and eventually referee Angus Gardner lost his patience and sat down Darby Lancaster for a ruck violation.

The Brumbies made the most of their extra man, scoring tries through Tom Wright, Nick Frost and hooker Billy Pollard.

After the break, the Brumbies extended their advantage through Wright who latched onto a Rhys Van Nek reverse ball to run through untouched for his second of the night.

But soon after, Brumbies flanker Brown and Tamati Tua were unbinned in quick succession.

The pressure eventually told and the Rebels scored their first of the night, through center Filipo Daugunu, after a series of scrum penalties.

Referee Gardner, who blew a total of 16 penalties against the home side, then yellow carded Len Ikitau for offside as he unsuccessfully attempted to stop Angelo Smith from burrowing over for the Rebels’ second try.

Despite having 14 men on the field, the Brumbies extended their advantage late on through Van Nek before Luke Reimer scored the home side’s seventh and final try of the night.

The Brumbies’ forward pack will have plenty of work to do in training after their scrum was again found lacking following a battering from the Crusaders last time out.

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