Brumbies blow Sharks away

Sat, 16 Mar 2013 16:54
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The Brumbies scored four first-half tries to cruise to a comfortable 29-10 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Brumbies scored four first-half tries to cruise to a comfortable 29-10 victory over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

First there were two unbeaten teams. The met in Durban - and then there was one. In fact by half-time there was one.

By half-time the Brumbies already led 26-3 and had a bonus point in their tuckerbag. And the Sharks were lucky that that was all that had happened to them for the half belonged almost entirely to the Brumbies.

The Brumbies kept the ball when they got it, and they got it all right. Their first phases were excellent. The Sharks on the other hand found  winning the first phases difficult and hardly made any impression at the tackle., First they tackled tentatively and then could not contain the Brumby force at the tackle.

The Sharks were apologetic. Why they were apologetic was not obvious. The Brumbies on the other hand were filled with calm confidence. The Brumbies were physical; the Sharks were not. Most physical of all was the bulky No.8 Fotu Auelua, occasionally even dancing to distract opponents.

The Brumbies' had two periods of long phases  till they went wide right where Jesse Mogg went over in the right corner, and when he did so he had two men spare on his outside and JP Pietersen somewhere else. 5-0 after 5 minutes.

The phases went on with all 15 players involved - props, hooker, fullback, everybody. The Sharks had lots and lots of tackles to make and they missed several.

Left wing Joe Tomane was on an overlap off phases going left and scored in the left corner. 12-0 after 13 minutes.

The Sharks managed to edge out of their territory, Ben Alexander was penalised at a tackle and Pat Lambie goaled. 12-3 after 19 minutes.

The Brumbies were quickly over that irritation and came back with phases, ending with a verticle line of attack, one behind the other, short pass after short pass till they went right and Matt Toomua went past Ryan Kankowski and through Louis Ludik's tackle to score. 19-3.

Still the Brumbies carried on attacking. The Sharks had a scrum and the Brumbies shoved them back, winning the rarity of a tighthead. They went right and Toomua floated a long pass out to Henry Speight who had no opposition in scoring in the corner. Christian Lealiifano converted. 26-3, which was the half-time score.

The second half was a different matter as the rain came teeming down.

At first it seemed that for the Brumbies it was business as usual. They eschewed two simple kicks at goal to get tries, which they no longer needed.

There was only one try in the half and the Sharks scored it - much too little to bring them long-term advantage. But the big change came at the scrums. In the second half the Sharks got on top and forced the Brumbies into conceding three scrum penalties. Jannie du Plessis, who received doctoring twice in the first half, was replaced by Wiehahn Herbst and Craig Burden by Kyle Cooper who was full of life.

The Sharks came as they had some Brumby-esque phases, getting closer and closer. Kankowski picked up a misdirected ball five metres or so from the Brumbies' line and did some clever stepping past three Brumbies for the try. 26-10 after 51 minutes.

The only other score came when Kankowski was penalised at a tackle and Christian Lealiifano goaled. 29-10 after 67 minutes.

Mind you they nearly scored again when lock Scott Fardy hoofed the ball downfield. Frans Steyn was out of position and Clyde Rathbone was bearing down on him, but Steyn recovered well enough to concede a five-metre scrum., which ended the match;

Man of the match: The most influential players were Brumbies - Matt Toomua, chubby George Smith and massive  Fotu Auelua who had probably the biggest impact on the match and is our Man of the Match.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Try: Kankowski
Con: Lambie
Pen: Lambie

For the Brumbies:
Tries: Mogg, Tomane, Toomua, Speight
Cons: Lealiifano 3
Pen: Lealiifano

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Keegan Daniel (captain), 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Fotu Auelua, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen (captain), 5 Sam Carter, 4 Peter Kimlin, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Robbie Coleman, 22 Clyde Rathbone.

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Reuben Rossouw (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4