Inconsequential Super Rugby trials are supposed to be about fearless attack and unearthing stars, and there was plenty of that as the ACT Brumbies took down the Melbourne Rebels at Greenfield Park on Thursday night.
The Brumbies destroyed the Rebels in the second half, running away with a 45-14 win to start 2020 in the best way possible.
It will of course matter little when the Brumbies meet the Queensland Reds in round one next week, or when the Brumbies and Rebels meet again in a fortnight.
Rugby league convert Solomone Kata impressed with some powerful runs, while Andy Muirhead made sure his name was in round one conversations with a double.
Pete Samu suffered a stinger on the shoulder and the rest of the squad got through unscathed.
The Brumbies punched away at the Rebels defence to score the first try of the game, lock Murray Douglas tucking the ball under his arm and burrowing over from close range.
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A composed Noah Lolesio slotted the conversion to give the Brumbies' a 7-0 lead after 27 minutes, but the Rebels hit back before half-time with some scintillating attack in broken play.
Wallabies flyer Marika Koroibete made the initial break and got the ball back after a flurry of offloads, scoring in the corner to set up a tight second half.
The teams traded blows after the break. Scott Sio scoring another close-range try, but some slick Rebels play cut the Brumbies open to level the scores again.
That's where the arm wrestle stopped, both teams wrapping most of their marquee players in cotton wool before the Brumbies' depth proved too strong.
Toni Pulu put the Brumbies ahead 19-14 after 65 minutes and Muirhead crossed for his first a couple of minutes later to extend it to 26-14.
New kid on the block Caderyn Neville ran in the next to essentially put the game out of reach at 33-14, Muirhead added his second, before Mack Hansen showed a clean pair of heels on the intercept to complete the 45-14 result.
"It was the first proper hit-out for the year, so it was good to blow the cobwebs out as a team and get some shape in," Muirhead said.
"It was a good result in the end. It was quite tight in the first half, so it was good to stay composed and get a win in the end.
"Something we've wanted to be better at as a team is our second halves, so the way we came out in the second half and finished the second half was pretty pleasing."
Muirhead thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Border
"It was nice and cool today and the locals have been really nice and welcoming," he added.
Rebels' star Matt To'omua said there was plenty of positives to take from the first half, but the second half wasn't a true reflection due to the bulk changes made by both sides.
"There's a lot of things to work on, but hopefully most guys have come through unscathed," To'omua said.
"We've got a game under our belt, but there wasn't much of a tactical plan for this game.
"Today was a good little marker, but the end result probably wasn't as relevant as a few of the little process things we're looking at."
To'omua also relished the chance to play the game in the country.
"It's always good when you can take rugby out to the rural towns and actually see some rusted-on fans," he said.
"It was a nice turnout and hopefully we can get some bigger games out here at some point."
It was a clean sweep for the Brumbies who won the opening trial earlier in the day 34-31, after being a awarded a penalty in the final minute.
The Rebels had clawed their way back to 31-all after trailing 26-5 at the main break.
The crowd was estimated at around 1000.
ACT BRUMBIES 45 (Andy Muirhead 2, Murray Douglas, Scott Sio, Toni Pulu, Caderyn Neville, tries; Noah Lolesio 2, Ryan Lonergan 2, Bayley Kuenzle conversions) def MELBOURNE REBELS 14 (Marika Koroibete, Asaeli Tikoirotuma tries; Reece Hodge, Andrew Deegan conversion) at Greenfield Park, Albury.