26 Feb 2011

Rebels beat Brumbies in thriller in Melbourne

12:26 pm on 26 February 2011

Controversial English first five Danny Cipriani kicked a contentious penalty in the dying seconds to hand the Melbourne Rebels an emotion-charged 25-24 win over the ACT Brumbies on Friday as ecstatic fans celebrated the team's first victory in Super rugby.

Trailing 24-22 with a minute left, the Brumbies were punished for a bit of innocuous-looking push-and-shove after a collapsed scrum, allowing former England number 10 Cipriani to coolly slot the ball over from nearly 40 metres out.

The kick gave the Rebels' pin-up boy a 20-point haul and completed a stunning turnaround for the new team in the southern hemisphere provincial competition - they were hammered 43-0 by the New South Wales Waratahs in the season-opener last week.

Brumbies captain Matt Giteau also put on a kicking masterclass with three penalties, a conversion and a drop goal, but failed to convert winger Henry Speight's 76th-minute try, which would have handed ACT the victory.