Rathbone shines in Brumbies romp
Rathbone shines in Brumbies rompSHARE
Two tries to comeback king Clyde Rathbone and another to David Pocock secured a 38-7 win for the Brumbies over the ACT XV at Viking Park on Friday.
Friday's brace makes it three tries in two games for Rathbone, who has only recently returned to the Brumbies and the rugby field after a three-year hiatus. The match was the Brumbies' final trial before the season proper starts next Saturday against the Queensland Reds.
After conceding the first try thanks to a Stephan Van Der Walt intercept and 90 metre dash, the Brumbies took control of the match eventually grinding their opponents to a halt. Tries came for the Brumbies forwards and backs, with Jesse Mogg, Nic White and Stephen Moore also registering five-pointers.
Brumbies coach Jake White said he was pleased to get his side through the game injury free and looked forward to the main event against the Reds next Saturday night.
"To give seven points away and still come back and score almost forty was a positive. You're never completely happy but it was a good hit-out for us," White said.
"It's fantastic that everyone looks like they've come through the game uninjured and while we still haven't got 80 minutes into all the players' legs we are getting there. I think Joe, Pup [Matt Toomua] and Christian had 60 while Benny Mowen got the full 80 in so we are working nicely towards the Reds.
"We're going to pick a team we think can beat the Reds. If I do have a selection headache then that's fantastic, that's what I need," he added.
Following Van Der Walt's length of the field effort, the Brumbies made their first impact on the scoreboard through Pocock who burrowed over from close range.
Just minutes later Mogg crossed the line after finding himself on the end of a sweeping backline movement that went from midfield to the right touchline. It wasn't the last time that fluidity would be seen in the first 40 minutes, with Rathbone looking to pick up where he left off last week in Darwin finishing a clinical display by the backs to run under the posts and score.
With Lealiifano making the most of his time in front of goal, eventually finishing the night with four from six attempts, the Brumbies went to the break leading 21-7.
Moore drew first blood five minutes into the second half, burrowing over from close range to give the Brumbies a three-try buffer. His try was followed by a similar effort from White, who capitalised on a quality break and deliver from Brumbies big man Scott Sio.
Sio steam rolled his way into space, popping the ball to support which ushered White over the line from just metres out.
Moments later all eyes were again on Rathbone as the stocky winger stormed the right touchline in front of the majority of the Brumbies fans to bag his second try of the evening.
For the Brumbies:
Tries: Rathbone 2, White, Pocock, Moore, Mogg
Cons: Lealiifano 4
For the ACT XV:
Try: Van der Walt
Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 David Pocock, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruaidhri Murphy, 18 Colby Faingaa, 19 Leon Power, 20 Fotu Auelua, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Robbie Coleman, 23 Tevita Kuridrani, 24 Jordan Rapana, 25 Zack Holmes, 26 Ruan Smith.
ACT XV: 15 Brendan Tueaki, 14 Stefan Van Der Walt, 13 Matt Hawke, 12 Rod Iona, 11 Tom Cox, 10 Sam Windsor, 9 Mark Swanepoel, 8 Tim Cree, 7 Josh Hitchins, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Tom Staniforth, 4 Gareth Clouston, 3 Les Makin, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Sione Taula.
Referees: James Leckie
Assistant referees: Dom McCarthy, Liam King