A new-look Melbourne Rebels stormed past the Brumbies, while a 14-man Highlanders beat the Chiefs in a thrilling start to the Super Rugby season on Friday.
The Rebels, bolstered by the signing of enigmatic Wallabies outcast Quade Cooper to partner Will Genia in the backs, posted five tries in their 34-27 win in Canberra.
The Brumbies’ defeat was made even more painful by superstar David Pocock failing a head injury assessment in the opening five minutes after taking a heavy knock.
He was forced from the field, continuing a terrible run of injuries that has seen his off-season interrupted by neck and calf issues.
The Brumbies took a 22-19 lead into halftime after an entertaining first 40 minutes, in which both sides planted three tries.