Brumbies go back to the top

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:22
Large highlanders v brumbies4 Large highlanders v brumbies5 Large highlanders v brumbies Large highlanders v brumbies3 Large highlanders v brumbies2

The Brumbies bounced back from last week's disappointment to beat the hapless Highlanders 30-19 in Dunedin on Friday.

The Brumbies bounced back from last week's disappointment to beat the hapless Highlanders 30-19 in Dunedin on Friday.

It is a victory, against the winless and bottom-placed Highlanders, that saw the Brumbies swiftly return to the top of the Super Rugby standings.

The Brumbies used the kicking game to great effect - with their first try, inside three minutes, coming after the Highlanders  failed to control one of these many high bombs.

And the visitors further compounded the Highlanders' problems with their effective chasing of these kicks.

In the second half the Highlanders attempted to keep the ball more in hand and run at the Brumbies, but a combination of their own poor handling and effective defence by the visitors held the home team at bay.

The problem for the Highlanders was that they tried to force the game, playing a style they are unfamiliar with and hoping for a moment of magic - but that spark never came.

The Brumbies, in contrast, were very comfortable with the conservative approach that had earned them so many victories this season.

The visitors completely dominated the contact areas and the Highlanders' bigger and older players - like Andrew Hore, Brad Thorn, Jamie Mackintosh and Ma'a Nonu - had no answer to this physicality.

The Brumbies got off to a flyer - Henry Speight scoring the opening try after just three minutes, a move that started when Hosea Gear failed to collect an aerial bomb and the Brumbies took it through a few quick phases, before slick handling put Speight into space. Christian Lealiifano added the extras - 7-0.

Within minutes George Smith won a penalty for the visitors just inside the Highlanders' half, by getting to his feet very quickly and then latching onto the ball in a tackle. Christian Lealiifano made it 10-0 after just five minutes.

Hayden Parker eventually managed to open the home team's account in the 11th minute, after the Brumbies went offside just inside their own half. The rookie flyhalf made it 6-10 with a second penalty after 16 minutes and 9-10 after 22, following a succession of penalties against the Brumbies at the tackle.

George Smith got the Brumbies' second try - coming after he broke away from a disintegrating maul and a fractured defence. Lealiifano made it 17-9 just  after the half-hour mark.

Hosea Gear was denied a try, when the TMO ruled that he lost control of the ball over the line three minutes from the half-time break.

There was a late penalty shot for Parker, after yet another transgression at the tackle, making it 12-17 at the half-time break.

Nic White - who always takes the long-range kicks at goal - opened the second-half scoring, a penalty from just on 50 metres out after the Highlanders were penalised at the tackle. That became 23-12 when Lealiifano kicked a penalty after a scrum infringement by the Highlanders.

Joe Tomane got the third try after 54 minutes - when he sprinted 50 metres after picking up a ball knocked loose in a big tackle. Lealiifano added the conversion - 30-12

Nic White had a chance to stretch the lead further from about 55 metres out, but this time he was just short. Lealiifano was also short going into the final quarter, but the Brumbies were still well in control on the scoreboard.

The Highlanders worked hard at getting back in the game and Aaron Smith eventually found a small hole in a rock-solid Brumbies defensive line to slip over for his team's first try. Parker added the conversion to make it an 11-point game with four minutes left on the clock.

And the home team now threw everything into attack in the hope of salvaging a late losing bonus point as consolation. However, the Highlanders' hands again let them down inside the Brumbies 22 - allowing the visitors a convincing and deserved win.

Man of the match: Henry Speight had probably his best game of the season and upstaged All Black Hosea Gear, while captain Ben Mowen was a monster in the contact areas. The biggest damage was certainly done on defence and at the  breakdown - where veteran George Smith again showed his class. He is going to be missed by the Brumbies when he returns to Japan in the near future - especially with David Pocock still out injured. Smith wins our award.

The scorers:

For the Highlanders:
Tries:
A Smith
Cons: Parker
Pens: Parker 4

For the Brumbies:
Tries:
Speight, Smith, Tomane
Cons: Lealiifano 3
Pens: Lealiifano 2, White

Teams:

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Mose Tuiali'i, 7 John Hardie, 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Chris King, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Elliot Dixon, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Jason Emery.

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

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19