How the Brumbies 'choked'

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 12:05
Large stephen moore brumbies 630 Large ruaidhri murphy brumbies 63 Large scott fardy brumbies 630

The Brumbies were left pondering how their runaway Super Rugby train derailed in the last regular season stop at the weekend.

The Brumbies were left pondering how their runaway Super Rugby train derailed in the last regular season stop at the weekend.

A dynamic Blues outfit ran the Canberra outfit ragged at the weekend, claiming a 30-16 point win in driving-afternoon rain at the Canberra Stadium.

A win or losing-bonus point would have guaranteed the Brumbies top spot in the Australian Conference and a crack at the finals, but in a spectacular display of choking they fell well short.

Then the Reds compounded their nightmare finish to the season by scoring a bonus-point win over the Waratahs to sneak past the Brumbies on 'matches won' and claim the Aussie conference - which meant a spot guaranteed spot in the play-offs, the only Australian team to qualify even though they would have finished sixth overall on the global standings.

The Brumbies coaching staff struggled to hide their disappointment at the team's failure to maintain their early season form, which saw them race clear and hold a nine-point lead (on the standings) over the reds in the Aussie conference.

The weekend's encounter with the lowly Reds was supposed to be one of celebration - , with veteran hooker Stephen Moore clocking up his 100th game.

However, the Brumbies missed 34 first-time tackles, allowing the Blues to unfold the game on their terms and attack from all over the park.

Coach Jake White was naturally disappointed with the result.

"We went away from the plan as they kicked off," a bitterly disappointed White said in his post-match reaction.

"We gave them 14 points in 11 minutes.

"Everything we spoke about regarding us starting well and keeping them out of the game went out the window," White added.

"We didn't build pressure, we didn't keep the tempo up and it was evident we let ourselves down in that first 20 minutes.

"All credit to the Blues. They got on a role bashing us in tackles and at the breakdown. It's not an ideal situation, now we've got to look and see what happens in the rest of the games this weekend."

Despite the bitter disappointment of the loss, White felt the Brumbies will learn from the failure to push on.

"They will regroup, that's why I'm the coach, that's why I've been put here - it's my job and that's when coaching and experiences come in," White told the media.

"When you ask will they recover, of course they will.

"Unfortunately in sport some of the best champions are the ones who have these disappointments, I'm almost sure every champion has gone through this at some stage and we will be back.

"We were so close, that's what hurts most and the fact we were winning our conference for almost five months."

Assistant coach Laurie Fisher joined White in expressing his disappointment.

"The disappointment will linger for a long time," said Fisher, who was also an assistant coach the last time the Canberra-based franchise tasted success - when they won the Super 12 crown in 2004.

"We got what we deserved in the end," he told AAP.

"It was 100 per cent in our hands and we weren't able to do the job and you can't rely on anyone else."

Fisher rued a tentative start and suspected the pressure of taking the reward on offer played its part.

But he denied it should tarnish their amazing turnaround.

"We're an inexperienced crew and there was a level of inexperience there," he said.

"We're very dejected with our performance but reflecting on where we've come from there's a satisfaction of the ground we've made up.

"There's many more goods than bads and it's important at this time not to reflect on the bads because that can tear you apart."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9