Brumbies scrum secures late winner
Brumbies scrum secures late winnerSHARE
The Brumbies, with a late penalty try from a massive scrum, secured a 25-15 win over the Stormers in Canberra on Saturday.
The result saw the Brumbies move back to the top of the Australian conference, a position that belonged to the Waratahs for the past 24 hours.
How childish can an adult team afford to be? How error-ridden can a professional team afford to be?
The answer is that neither can afford to make the elementary errors that the Stormers made and expect to prosper in a competition like Super Rugby.
Tiaan Liebenberg was sent to the sin bin for a tip tackle. They lost six of their own line-outs, including a vital one on their own line. They failed twice in a row to kick penalties into touch. They kicked out on the full in general play. They missed two easy kicks at goal.
Their kicks cost them dearly.
They stood by watching the Brumbies third try which had an air of the ridiculous about it and they got shoved away in a scrum to concede an obvious penalty try at the end after they had again lost a line-out.
That said, it was a match in which they showed greater attacking potential and in fact, apart from the tries the Brumbies scored, their defence was excellent. Apart from these occasions that really counted, that is.
The Brumbies were sharp and determined, winning situations that counted most. They were not fluid either, which made for a game of bits and pieces, but their bit for their first try was excellent.
Jean de Villiers had a magnificent, clean break early in the match and Stephen Moore was penalised. Peter Grant who had missed a penalty attempt goaled for a 3-0 lead to the Stormers after six minutes, but then came an exciting Brumbies try that had the crowd of 11 527 into ecstasy.
Flyhalf Matt Toomua broke past Damien De Allende and inside De Villiers, drew Gio Aplon and gave a perfect pass to Robbie Coleman on his right and the wing raced over in the right corner. Nic White converted from far out. 7-3 to the Brumbies after 9 minutes.
The Stormers got onto the attack and from a line-out, they went through phrases with Nick Groom, then Steven Kitshoff and then De Villiers close. JP Smith was penalised at a tackle and the Stormers kicked out for a five-metre line-out. After a bit of choreography Liebenberg threw to Michael Rhodes at the front and they bashed at the line till Duane Vermeulen burst through four Brumbies to score. 10-7 to the Stormers after 23 minutes.
Liebenberg went to the sin bin and Deon Fourie was penalised at a tackle. White levelled the scores. Fourie was penalised at a tackle and White put his side ahead after 38 minutes. At half-time the Brumbies led 13-10.
That was the score when Liebenberg returned. First Grant and then Aplon failed to kick penalties into touch and the Stormers suffered. The Stormers won a tighthead at a scrum – significant in terms of the last scrum of the match – and kicked.
Nizaam Carr replaced Siya Kolisi and Juan de Jongh replaced Sailosi Tagicakibau. De Jongh had some great moments.
From a line-out, White kicked into the box. Kobus van Wyk jumped for the ball but nowhere near it as it bounced behind him. Ben Mowen got the ball and grubbered down the left. The ball was rolling near the touchline with Van Wyk and Aplon watching it in the expectation that it would roll into touch when White snatched it from under their noses and scored in the corner, 18-10 after 62 minutes.
The Stormers attacked form a line-out but Carr was penalised. Then, after Liebenberg was penalised for collapsing a maul, the Stormers had their best passage of play in 2014 and De Jongh started it.
White missed a penalty attempt which went into the Stormers in-goal on the left (from the Stormers' perspective) of the posts. De Jongh and Aplon broke out from behind their line and raced down the field well into the Brumbies' half. It was thrilling. But then Grant hit the upright with an easy penalty kick.
The Stormers kicked a penalty out for a line-out 15 metres from the Brumbies' line and mauled. Stopped they went left where De Jongh peremptorily handed off Andrew Smith and scored close in. Grant missed the conversion. 18-15 with four minutes to play.
Aplon ran down the left and kicked to Jesse Mogg. The upshot was a line-out to the Stormers on their right, five metres from their line. They lost the line-out and the Brumbies attacked. Pat McCabe was over under the mosts but held up. This gave the home side a five-metre scrum. They shoved the Stormers quickly back. The Stormers collapsed the scrum and the referee, quite rightly, awarded the Brumbies a penalty try. White converted and the final whistle went.
This is the Stormers fourth away defeat this season and from those defeats they have a solitary bonus point. Only the porous Cheetahs are below them on the log.
Man of the Match: There were strong performances from Jesse Mogg and his boot, energetic Robbie Coleman, Ben Mowen and Scott Fardy of the Brumbies and Duane Vermeulen of the Stormers but our choice of man of the match is cool and effective Matt Toomua at flyhalf.
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Coleman 2, Penalty try
Cons: White 2
Pens: White 2
Tries: Vermeulen, De Jongh
Yellow card: Tiaan Liebenberg (Stormers, 31 – foul play, spear tackle)
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Stephan van der Walt, 23 Lionel Cronje.
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Michael Rhodes, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Juan de Jongh.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Andrew Lees (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)