A month of road trips and brutal rugby has taken its toll on the ACT Brumbies, who were out-steamed last night by the Melbourne Rebels 32-24.
Rebels fullback Jason Woodward had the game of his life in the fixture, amassing a Super Rugby season high of 27 points, which in itself was a club record for the Melbourne franchise.
It was a brutal effort from the Rebels, down six regular players, to stun the Australian conference leaders who will be ruing a bunch of turnovers and missed opportunities in the second half.
While Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg came up with a miraculous try-saver on Rebels winger Tom English late in the game, the Brumbies ran out of gas to make amends in the game.
Rebels centre Mitch Inman's late try sealed the deal.
But what made the Rebels' win all the more impressive was that they trailed 10-3 at half time.
The Brumbies dominated the scrum and breakdown in the first half, but became lazy in defence in the second half.
The only highlight for them was the Queanbeyan combination of Nic White and Robbie Coleman, with Coleman collecting a chip kick to score in the dying stages.
But the Rebels will take confidence in their second win of the season, knowing their young forwards can step up and dominate, as they did in the second half against the Brumbies.
Wellington-born Jason Woodward's rise to fame will also excite Rebels coach Tony McGahan.
Former Brumby Colby Faainga was also in his first game against his former club, and impressed.
For the Brumbies, the game raises the question as to whether they can withstand accumulations of tough games. If they want to threat for the title, as is a realistic ambition, they must prove they can muscle up week in week out.
What are your thoughts Brumbies fans?
They must take advantage of a dream draw for the first half of the season. They will return home to face the Auckland Blues next Friday night.