High praise for magical Toomua

Fri, 11 Jul 2014 14:41
Large brumbies celebrate2

Matt Toomua scored a hat-trick of tries as the Brumbies powered into the Super Rugby play-offs with a barnstorming 47-25 win over the Force.

Matt Toomua scored a hat-trick of tries as the Brumbies powered into the Super Rugby play-offs with a barnstorming 47-25 win over Western Force in Canberra on Friday.

It was a winner-takes-all Australian derby with both teams level on 40 points and needing to win to take their place in next week's top-six play-offs.

The Brumbies, twice winners of the Southern Hemisphere championship, will have to wait until the result of the Highlanders' match on Saturday with the Crusaders to see whether they keep hold of fourth place and a home play-off next week.

The Highlanders must beat the Crusaders in Christchurch to deny the Brumbies fourth place.

Brumbies Director of Rugby Laurie Fisher applauded Toomua's performance.

"He was fantastic," Fisher said.

"He was on the front foot defensively and made some fantastic decisions on the short side," he said.

"And again, off the back of some really good hard work by the forwards."

Fisher said his team benefited from the return of a swag of players, including Wallabies Toomua, Sam Carter, Joe Tomane and Pat McCabe.

"It showed in the quality of the team. It was just a red hot performance," he said.

Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen said the side had gone into the match looking to shut the competition's leading pilferer Matt Hodgson down at the breakdown.

"We spoke a lot about denying contests and I don't think Hodgson got a pilfer - which says a lot about how hard the guys worked," he said.

It was the Brumbies' biggest win of the season and puts them in great heart for next week's play-off.

"To get a score like that in the final round when a finals spot is on the line is a really pleasing result," Mowen added.

"I think we'll play the Highlanders next week, the Crusaders will be really strong at home but we'll sit back and wait and see."

Force coach Michael Foley said the loss wouldn't take the gloss off what was a great season for the franchise.

"We're disappointed in that performance, but it's pretty hard for any one performance to be a defining factor in the season," he said.

"Early on we didn't defend well enough. We gave them a couple of tries.

"When you look at a season's work, there's a fair bit that goes into it and it would be fairly narrow to look at any one game to decide whether it was a great season or a bad one.

"I think the guys have been outstanding this season.

"They've won more games than any other Force team in the club's history. To win last week and have the chance to make the final this week was our second goal and we fell short to a team that played very well.

"As much as we're disappointed now - and I'll speak from my own - they've taken a massive step towards things they could aspire to in the future."

It was a sad end for the Force, who were bidding for their first Super Rugby finals campaign and they finished with three tries to Pek Cowan, Chris Tuatara-Morrison and Zack Holmes.

Force captain Matt Hodgson said despite the loss it had been a great season for the Perth-based side.

"We've learned how to win consistently and it's now just a case of learning how to play those big games like and we'll improve again next year," he said.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 09h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 09h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 11h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 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 09h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 09h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 11h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 11h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 14h00 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