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Super Rugby: Rebels beat 1st-place ACT 32-24

March 28, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The last-place Melbourne Rebels ended a three-match losing streak to beat Australian conference leader ACT 32-24, stopping the Brumbies’ four-game winning run in Super Rugby on Friday.

The Brumbies led 10-3 at halftime then 17-12 before Rebels fullback Jason Woodward beat four defenders to touch down in the 59th minute. Melbourne’s second try came from center Mitch Inman in the 69th through more poor defence.

A late try by Robbie Coleman got the Brumbies close, but Woodward’s sixth penalty took his personal tally for the match to 27 points, sealed the win, and denied ACT a bonus point.

“It was first-class, wasn’t it,” Melbourne coach Tony McGahan said of Woodward. “Jason’s an exceptional athlete and he’s got some very good rugby skills.”

Brumbies coaching director Laurie Fisher said his team didn’t get enough points from their early possession advantage, and praised the Rebels.

“You’ve to give more credit to the opposition,” Fisher said. “We only got one try out of it and that’s probably due to the Rebels’ defence as well as some poor execution on our part.”

The Brumbies got off to a strong start, with fullback Jesse Mogg scoring in the second minute, and they dominated the early exchanges. Up until the 20th minute, the Brumbies had 87 percent of territory and 69 percent of possession.

But the Rebels showed their improved defence and worked their way back into the game to trail by only seven at the interval.

The margin could have been even less when Melbourne opted for a lineout metres from the tryline following a penalty. But the halftime buzzer went as the ball was kicked.

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Scores:

Melbourne 32 (Mitch Inman, Jason Woodward tries; Woodward 2 conversions, 6 penalties), ACT 24 (Robbie Coleman, Jesse Mogg tries, penalty try; Nic White 2 conversions, penalty, Matt Toomua conversion). HT: 3-10.

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