Brumbies and Sharks impress by sealing early back-to-back Super Rugby wins

By Sports Desk February 07, 2020

The Brumbies snapped a four-game losing streak in their rivalry with the Melbourne Rebels after a fast start set the platform for Friday's 39-26 victory in Canberra.

Not since a 32-3 win in June 2017 had the Brumbies come out on top in matches between these Super Rugby rivals, but last season's beaten semi-finalists were on top from the early stages in their latest encounter.

Irae Simone sold a dummy and scurried in for a fifth-minute opener, before exciting young fly-half Noah Lolesio fed Tom Banks with a pass from out the back of the hand to grab the Brumbies' second try.

Smart play from Simone gave Tom Cusack the chance to grab a third, and the Brumbies' fourth try in the opening half-hour arrived when Lolesio's teasing kick through was reached first by Solomone Kata to dot down.

After a disheartening round one defeat to the Sunwolves last weekend, the Rebels were again second best but they found a response just before half-time when Angus Cottrell powered over.

A half-time deficit of 24-7 was narrowed by Melbourne when Cottrell burrowed in for his second try; however, hopes of a turnaround were dashed for the Rebels when Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a barged through in the right corner in the 52nd minute.

The lively encounter at GIO Stadium saw further tries from Tom Wright for the Brumbies and Dane Haylett-Petty and Frank Lomani for the Rebels.

While the Brumbies have won two from two, the Rebels are yet to get off the mark.

The Sharks are also two from two after crushing the Highlanders 42-20 in Dunedin.

Springboks wing Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi both scored two tries for the impressive visitors from Durban, with James Venter also dotting down and Curwin Bosch kicking 17 points.

Dillon Hunt, Jona Nareki and Michael Collins grabbed tries for the well-beaten Highlanders.

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