Brumbies claim Super Rugby AU title - Green and Gold Rugby
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Brumbies claim Super Rugby AU title

Brumbies claim Super Rugby AU title

The Brumbies are the Super Rugby AU champions after a tense 28-23 win over the Reds in Canberra.

In the end, it was a game befitting of the final as the Reds threw everything at the Brumbies in the last quarter but couldn’t come away with what would have been a remarkable victory to end a six year losing streak in the capital given they lost arguably their best player in Jordan Petaia followed Lukhan Salakaia-Loto for the second half.

Tries to Folau Fainga’a, Andy Muirhead and Tom Banks and the boot of Noah Lolesio were enough to see off a determined Reds side who scored from forwards Harry Wilson and Angus Blyth and the handy kicking off the tee from James O’Connor.

The Reds can hold their heads high but there were some key moments in the game that saw it slip away from them with some tackle discipline and their lineout towards the back end of the game proving decisive in the final five-point margin.

The Match

It was a very physical start from both sides with a penalty each way and the Reds going hard at the ball at ruck time. Fraser McReight copped two early penalties and a chat from Angus Gardner for his work at the ruck and one of those led to Noah Lolesio opening the scoring in the 5th minute with a penalty goal in his first game back in two months after a hamstring injury.

The Reds were able to get into the game on the back of their scrum and down into the Brumbies territory and another penalty followed that allowed James O’Connor to level after 14 minutes.

The Brumbies were the beneficiaries of back-to-back penalties with both sides having a bit of trouble controlling their aggression and enthusiasm in the opening 20 minutes with a few high tackles.

After Tom Banks kicked to the sideline from a high shot penalty, the Reds knew what was coming their way and stopped the first driving maul but were pinged for coming in the side but they couldn’t stop the next one with Folau Fainga’a rolling over for the opening try after 17 minutes. Lolesio’s conversion made it 10-3.

The Brumbies went further ahead after 25 minutes through a try to Andy Muirhead who collected a neat offload from Lolesio and beat three defenders and stretched out to score. The move started after Taniela Tupou lost the ball in contact and the Brumbies had the Reds on the back foot with Tevita Kuridrani involved multiple times in the movement to make up for his Wallabies squad snubbing.

The Reds pulled out a special try of their own after 30 minutes after Jordan Petaia swooped on a loose ball about 40 metres out and sliced through the defence and then offloaded to Harry Wilson for the Reds first try. O’Connor’s conversion reduced the gap to 15-10.

The Reds scrum was again causing the Brumbies problems and with back-to-back penalties of their own, O’Connor kicked his second penalty of the game to make it 15-13 at half time after Will Miller was pinged for going off his feet at the ruck.

Embed from Getty Images

The Reds suffered a blow with Petaia not continuing in the second half and was replaced by Bryce Hegarty and the injury concerns got worse only three minutes later as Lukhan Salakaia-Loto knocked himself out in a head clash with Lachie McCaffrey but thankfully was able to walk off unaided.

The Brumbies received a penalty in the Reds 22 and caught them off guard with a quick tap and after recycling the ball, spread it wide and Tom Banks shredded the defence to score the Brumbies third try of the night. Lolesio’s conversion made it 22-13 and he would add a drop goal off a penalty advantage to make it ten points in as many minutes to open the half.

Straight off the restart the Reds went down to 14 after Filipo Daugunu was yellow carded for a lifting tackle on McCaffrey and the tackle discipline let them down again as Hamish Stewart was pinged to give Lolesio another penalty goal and make it 28-13 at the 55-minute mark.

With Daugunu in the bin, O’Connor used his experience to wind down the clock with his third penalty goal with both sides starting to empty the benches.

Tate McDermott started to get his running game going and the Reds had a stroke of luck for their next points as his snipe found space but the ball came free and like all good players playing to the whistle, Angus Blyth dived on the ball in the in-goal and was awarded the try after a look from the TMO and O’Connor’s conversion made it 28-23.

In the last ten minutes the Reds lineout deserted them as they lost multiple throws in key positions on the field and the Brumbies were keen to pounce and in the end it cost them a shot at an unlikely victory as the Brumbies held on at the end for a five-point win.

The Game Changer

The second half. The Reds were in with a shot at half time only down by 2 but losing Petaia and Salakaia-Loto early rattled them and the 13 points conceded in as many minutes proved too much to reel in even though the threw everything at the Brumbies in the last 10 minutes.


Noah Lolesio – His first game back after 2 months out with a hamstring injury and it didn’t look like he missed a beat.

Wallaby Watch

With this basically a selection trial for Dave Rennie, he would have been happy with what he saw. Jordan Petaia showed that he is the next cab off the rank at 13 but his injury problems continued and only played the first half. Taniela Tupou was again a menace at scrum time to earn the Reds some key penalties to keep the Reds in the game.
James O’Connor was again leading the Reds backline but his opposite in Lolesio proved he could do a job for Rennie if given a chance.
Harry Wilson also showed he wouldn’t look out of place in Gold with a try.

For the Brumbies, Folau Fainga’a was busy and scored the opening try and should be key for Rennie with lineout throwing proving the difference in the end. Pete Samu was his usual immaculately dressed self and got through a stack of work. The Brumbies props in Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa had tough night against the Reds front row. Tom Banks has eased into the season following injury but got over the line tonight. Although Tevita Kuridrani didn’t make Rennie’s 44 man squad, he played like he had something to prove in what could be his last game for the Brumbies and could be recalled pending the extend of the injury to Petaia.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Fainga’a, Muirhead, Banks
Conversions: Lolesio 2
Penalties: Lolesio 2
Drop goals: Lolesio
Tries: Wilson, Blyth
Conversions: O’Connor 2
Penalties: O’Connor 3


50 mins – Daugunu (Reds) – Yellow

  • sambo6

    Congrats to the Ponies. The Reds looked out of sorts right from the kickoff, I wouldn’t say ‘flat’, but def it was one of those nights where nothing was gonna stick. They did well to fight back in both halves, but it sort of looked like pushing shit uphill, and I don’t think the result was ever in doubt myself.

  • Steve

    A great game!

    I‘m not sure how he has the nerves, but Lolesio is an absolute freak – he changes the look of the Brumbies attack completely and (I think) thoroughly upstaged JOC. Some of the distribution and the setup for Muirhead was unbelievable.

    I think it’s no coincidence KTrain finally looked dangerous and was making metres- he’s always been great given a bit of space to move in.

    Petaia, what an absolute talent that is at risk of going to waste if he doesn’t learn to manage his body. His try setup was freakish. Tupou dominated Sio again, but AAA never less than solid.

    Overall this seemed to be won at the breakdown and silly Reds errors and infringements. Daugunu had an absolute shocker but it was all from trying a bit too hard.

    I think all players involved will be better for it and the quality of McKellar’s setup beat some individual brilliance. Samu and Mccaff had absolute belters.

    • Geoffro

      Dont know if Lolesio thoroughly upstaged JOC but he looks very comfortable at 10 and took a points victory.Lachie Mc was my MOM

      • idiot savant

        Yeah Lolesio was behind a fresh pack with more go forward. JOC had to use the pocket a bit until the freshness wore off which showed his experience. He was more dangerous in the second half. But Lolesio is gonna be something. Brilliant attitude. And yeah Lachie was the most influential player on the ground. Dead set pest in the rucks.

        • formerflanker

          You can bet London to a brick that Lachie will recycle the ball whenever he is tackled. Great strength and technique.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          JOC is a class player, but I thought that match showed why he is better used at 12. I thought his kicking out of hand was a great boon to the Brumbies. Still think Toomua may be the favourite for the 10 jersey.

        • laurence king

          I really think that the Reds were flat, they had some crucial injuries as well. If the Reds had the same length of break as the Brumbies we would have had a different game and maybe different outcome as well. I think Rennie will be considering the same thing. That said, I think White allowed the Reds back in the game with his kicking

        • Brumby Runner

          LK do you want some of us to rescue the trophy from the Brumbies HQ and return it to its rightful place with the Reds? After all, the Brumbies really didn’t deserve the bloody thing – they couldn’t even get one player in the GAGR TOTY FFS.

        • laurence king

          Lol, mate they came top of the ladder and deservingly won the final. They played well, but in my opinion the Reds didn’t play well. I think the Reds were allowed back in the game because Powell was taken off and White kept giving the ball away. My point about Rennie was that I dont think that he could take a lot from the game in terms of match-ups because it was clear that one side was fresh and the other was jaded. Cheers

        • UTG

          Were they flat or as a young team did they just burn their energy in unproductive areas? They were just too excited in the first 20 and cost themselves with some silly penalties.

        • laurence king

          They didnt look too excited to me, they were pretty much anonymous except for their mistakes.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I dunno. Maybe. Brumbies’ poor period was when Lolesio was out. I would have been confident of winning even with the same length break when he was back.

          I don’t know if the kicking let them back in. But the combination of the kicking and the lazy chasers certainly did!

        • Steve

          Agree – I think Wright and McReight have huge futures but the wiley older blokes got em this time.

          It’s something the Wallabies seem permanently short of, I hope Rennie was paying attention.

        • It certainly looks that way. Question – will Rennie use him against the ABs.

      • David Creagh

        JOC looked a bit stressed at times and his body language seemed poor. Did not look like he knew where the key was to unlock the bolted door of the Brumbies defence. Also thought I heard some very unconstructive chat through the ref/effects mike.

        • Geoffro

          Yeah and I’d still rather see him at 12.I think Lolesio played mostly 12 too prior this season but he has that attribute most really good flyhalves have which is he looks less rushed,has time.He is a far more natural 10 than both JOC and Toomua I reckon.

        • idiot savant

          All 3 of them look good behind a pack going forward with quick ball. JOC had to wait far longer for ball in the first half than Noah due to the Brums excellent breakdown interference. When the Brums tired though JOC got his side going forward and the reds were very dangerous in the last 30 minutes. JOC played well under pressure. He kicked a lot and that kept the Brums out of the red zone for most of the match. One of his kicks was 30 meters from his own line which Banks forced for goal line drop out 70 metes away. He also fielded all the high kicks magnificently unlike Noah who dropped one under pressure from Paisami. If JOC had been outplayed the Reds wouldn’t have been in the game after 50 minutes given the possession, territory, and freshness the Brums had.

          I think a little too much credence has been given to Noah’s game management last night. He was gifted field position by early poor discipline and a hopeless Reds line out. He didnt win that through brilliant management. And with all that ball and territory the Reds backs still looked far more lethal than the Brums.

          At this stage Id prefer JOC at 10 for the Wallabies. I think he is the best at using his passing to bring the best attacking options into the game – forwards and backs. Theres no rush with Noah. He’s got the goods. Bring him on from the bench with 25 to go.

        • Geoffro

          Just happy we have a few options at 10 coming through.The cupboard has been a bit bare the last few years

        • Brumby Runner

          IS, I don’t get that you seem to be the sole fan talking down Lolesio’s game last night and talking up JOC’s. After every game when one No 9 or 10 has a less than expected impoact, the old chestnut of the forwards pack going forward always gets trotted out. Was almost a warcry from a few Tahs fans over the past three or four years.

          The Reds pack had every chance to be the dominant force and they were expected to be just that. It didn’t work out – that’s part of the game. It might give the Nos 9 and 10 an advantage but it doesn’t excuse the opposition players from criticism for their games.

          Having said that, I agree that JOC had a strong kicking game last night and almost turned the tide when White came on and flogged the box kicks to death. I wouldn’t necessarily mind the box kicks if they were challenged and possession was a competition. But with the Brumbies, they are merely an almost certain way of turning possession back over to the opposition, the Reds last night because they simply will not challenge for the ball.

          I do favour JOC at 10 and Matt Toomua at 12 for the Bledisloes, and Noah would be a good back up on the bench. But none of that means that JOC actually played as good as Noah last night.

        • idiot savant

          Im not taking down Noah at all. Just adding perspective. I think the Brumbies pack were a bigger factor in the victory than Noah thats all. The Brums back row were sensational, Simone was outstanding, and the whole side were better than the Reds. We can disagree on the five eighths. I thought they both played very well and that JOC had to do more because his team did not have the ascendancy. I bet JOC would have preferred to be on the end of Powell’s pass last night.

          Totally agree about the box kick chase and made the point elsewhere. The Brums strategy was to wait for a mistake which never came. I guess they saw it as moving their defence line forward which is fair enough.

        • I’m not sure Lolesio’s performance was as dominant as everyone else seems to be describing it.

          I thought had a good game, don’t get me wrong, and absolutely did what was asked of him. The Reds as a whole looked poor in the first half, and JOC was part of that, and never got their line out functioning, but I’d argue that JOC was behind the Reds pulling themselves back into the game in the second half.

          At the same time, other members of the Reds started playing better, pressured Lolesio and he went back into his shell a bit for me. Maybe that was him just getting less ball as White box kicked for territory, clearly the game plan – pin them back and defend “down there” and it just worked. If they Reds had been able to buy a line out win at any of few critical points it could easily have backfired. But I think when he did get the ball, he didn’t produce in the same way he had during the first half although that might have been the change in the game plan again.

          Lolesio was, in part, responsible for the Brumbies winning. But if the Reds had played as well as they did in the second half in the first half instead… I wonder if we’d be singing the same song?

          It was not to be, and congrats to the ponies.

    • Fully agree with you.

    • David Creagh

      I am not so sure that Sio was dominated. Some of the penalties for standing up seemed to go the wrong way to me with BPA popping up under pressure first, I am one eyed though.

      • Brumby Runner

        On two occasions, Tupou clearly was the first to pop up, but the Reds won the penalty regardless. Gardner has never shown that he understands scrummaging, but goes with the loudest voices. Time for him to receive some in depth extra training and education methinks.

        • David Creagh

          I think he guesses and the decisions that he makes are a preconceived view of dominance not evidence.

        • Rugby Truth

          Did anyone else notice that Angus Gardiner was always standing on Tupou’s side of the scrum?

          I reckon the Brumbies might’ve had a quiet word with Gardiner before the game.
          Ie. watch for his knee touching the ground during the scrum………..

        • Who?

          To be fair to Gardner, when they popped up, it didn’t appear to be the Reds going backwards. It’s far from uncommon for teams retreating who have their opponents pop up just before them to be penalized for standing up – I’ve seen the Wallabies done for that by foreign refs far too many times to think that it’s Gus is doing something unusual there.

      • The current interpretation, one I don’t agree with, is that the retreating scrum is at fault.

        Popping up if you’re going forward isn’t actually the offence – the assumption is that you drive forwards legitimately (flat) and the retreating prop changes angle to stop going back, driving you up – that is the offence. You pop up first because they have driven you up and they’re in control of the drive (they’re basically back on their haunches, pushing up, while you’re going forwards and being pushed up by someone).

        I’m not sure I agree with the assumption behind it, but I definitely never played in the front row and can’t say whether it’s reasonable or not. I know that when we get former top level props commentating over here, it happens occasionally, they don’t complain that interpretation is silly, so I’m guessing the referees talked to some former front row players about it.

    • JJ

      According to press reports the KTrain is heading to Perth next year on a 2 year deal. As a Force fan, I therefore watched him closely in the final. Reading the comments below, others also thought he looked good. Surprisingly he did not make Rennies Wallaby squad of 40.

  • Yowie

    Great game. The Reds weren’t out of contention until full time. Well done Brumbies.

  • idiot savant

    Great coaching from Uncle Dan and Lord Laurie. McCaffrey was a master stroke. He was in everything, messing up rucks, being abrasive, linking, and working his arse off. While Liam Wright worked hard he’s too much of a goody two shoes for the 6 role. Lachie has the right amount of mongrel. He led the blunting of the Reds back row at the breakdown. In fact Lord Laurie’s coaching was evident there as the Brumbies clean out and ruck obstruction techniques were superior all night.

    But you got to hand it to the Reds. The travel, a huge physical game last week, Thorn’s hopeless lineout coaching, injuries, and coming up a side that was fresh and on home soil they nearly got it done. Freshness was a key to the Brum’s win. It meant less errors and more go forward. The Reds on the other hand often made tired attempts to tackle sidestepping players resulting in high tackle penalties. What is it with the Reds and high tackles? But they also couldn’t buy a break there. I saw several high tackles from Brumbies players as fatigue crept in late in the game go unremarked. And Blythe. WTF were you thinking? Its like wearing a tramp stamp on the back of your head.

    Lots of interesting stuff for the Wallabies. Lolesio has staked a claim for the Wallabies 10 jersey. McDermott was slow to deliver again when it counted. I can’t see Wright as Wallaby 6. Fillipo had a night to forget but I still think his defence is better than Wrights. Whites box kicking is classy though he wasn’t as convincing as you’d hope for a Wallaby starter. And maybe Banks is finally starting to show some form.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Banks started showing his form against the Waratahs. A similar extended run of average form happened at the beginning last year when he was injured. Obviously he isn’t like Petaia or Lolesio in being able to come back from injury and play near 100%. Needs to build into form.

      • Timbo

        He didn’t have the tackle slipping ability of matches past. Must have been something to do with the lack of Vaseline.
        Despite his questionable leg coverage decisions, his slipperyness in general play without vaso is very impressive. I enjoy that part of his game.

    • UTG

      You almost wish they could change the squad after that game. I’ve often thought McCaffrey was just a good Super player but he was superb last night and totally outplayed Wright, who will not be Wallaby 6. I liked Harry Wilson though so I think the play is 6. Samu 7. Hooper 8. Wilson.

      For me, Neville was outstanding around the park and in the lineout, so many good carries. If LSL is forced to sit out a couple of games I can see Neville being brought straight into the 23.

      Agree with the rest of your picks, Banks I’d be happy to have in 15 given his showing. Again, I think his game was helped by Lolesio’s return.

      • Mike D

        I think you just nailed the balanced back row we’ve been craving (though no doubt others have mentioned it also). Hooper the energiser bunny, Samu the grafter and all round capabilities, Wilson for niggle and a touch of meat axe.

  • Mart

    Final of Super Rugby AU and nothing in regular news sites…fark me… good game. Some big head knocks, hope all okay

    • sugarwookie

      It was the 5th or 6th story on Offsiders on Sunday morning… standard NRL games, Tour de France, Craig Bellamy flipping off Cameron Smith, issues with the new Socceroos kit, AFL *yawn* were all more important news…

      • Mart

        far out, what does Rugby have to do to get some press in this country. Awesome spectacle… bring back Izzy i say, that’ll get the papers going

        • Rugby Truth

          The rugby media is run out f Sydney, if it’s not he waratahs then they don’t give a rats.

        • Who?

          And Offsiders is based in Melbourne.

  • Hoss

    Good morrow.

    The plus-sized person has sung and the Puppy Killers sit rightly upon the throne of Australian Rugby. They were edgy, physical, aggressive, niggly and composed although I though White did his best to lose it with aimless box kicks with 20 to go onwards and it was inviting the Reds back in and to be frank the tactic seemed odd and risky as the Reds seemed likely to score, but overall they were worthy winners.

    The Reds seemed slightly jaded and perhaps a young team that had expended a lot of emotional energy in the days prior. The fact they stayed in it so long and for all the territory and seeming ascendancy they weren’t put away by the PKs is test amount to a good side. Towards the end they were only one line out win away from stealing it. Losing FKA, JP and a yellow early in the second half could’ve cruelled them but they showed their minerals and stayed in it.

    The little things that were their all season conspired against them last night and ultimately the title. Discipline and line out. They have the forwards, they have the backs and they have the making of a special outfit. Look forward to 2021.

    Looking forward to the announcement of the Wallaby Skipper today and I can’t wait for tests to begin and if we can transfer our Sr dominance of Sheep Shagger sides this season into test match wins. Would be great to have seen McKellar in the coaches box of gold this year as well.

    Well done Brumbies & come on Aussies, come on.

    • laurence king

      Looked flat didn’t they? Brums played well and the Reds had nothing to counter with. Both of the Reds tries came from a piece of individual brilliance rather than arising out of any sense of plan. It was just ticker that kept it close.

    • Keith Butler

      Brumbies almost blew it trying to close the game out with 10 to 15 to go and kicking the ball aimlessly to the Reds. A great contest and although I wanted the Reds to win full credit to the Ponies, worthy champions.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah I was looking forward to McKellar bringing the maul to the Wallabies. Im not entirely convinced by his excuse. You’d think he could fit in looking for one backs coach. I really enjoyed McKellars remarks afterwards. He said that he had focussed on stopping the number of turnovers the Reds had achieved last time and having experimented with going wide fast decided on being more direct. Its great to have such a thoughtful coach who studies his opposition, respects them and designs game plans accordingly. Its the sort of approach we haven’t seen in gold for a long time.

    • idiot savant

      Good point about the box kicking from White. Not sure if it was aimless though. It was so regular it must have been under instruction? Some of them were very high kicks and yet every one was taken brilliantly by JOC, Campbell or Hegarty. I thought the point of the box kick was contesting the ball. The Brums chasers didnt really get up for it and they had the time. Thy seemed to prefer to wait and hope the Reds dropped it. The kiwis would be launching themselves at the ball. So their chase was timid and as you say it nearly backfired.

      • Brumby Runner

        IS so true about the Brumbies kick chases. None of the catches needed to be “brilliant”. The Brumbies simply do not challenge for the ball in the air.

      • Brumby Runner

        IS so true about the Brumbies kick chases. None of the catches needed to be “brilliant”. The Brumbies simply do not challenge for the ball in the air.

      • Hoss

        No doubt part of a broader plan IS, but with a shaky Reds line out I would have thought the Ponies would have got more pay and chewed up more time (if closing out the game was the ploy) going for touch as opposed to like-warm box kicks. They be more chance of pinning the reds, setting their D and contesting the line out then a chance of a breakaway try from a dangerous reds backline.

        History shows they won so it’s all academic I guess, but I’d be throwing faeces at the screen if we were to do that against the darkness in a few weeks.

      • David Creagh

        I would have much rather seen Lolesio, Banks or Simone kicking into the corners and then pressuring the reds lineout. The box kick is a good tactic for bringing the back three forward to allow the space for a longer kick to find grass but was well overused last night. I agree there needs to be a chase and a contest in the air to put pressure on the receiver or it is just turn over pill. In a close game and in the lead I either want the ball in my hands or way downfield to make the opposition have to run the ball back 80+ meters.

  • RedAnt

    Hmm, a bit too much ‘passion’ (ie. aggro), a mis-firing line out, poor discipline, no real plan B – have to say, for the first 50 minutes at least, the Reds were looking a lot like a Cheika-coached team. The last 30 didn’t entirely change my mind, but hopefully Thorne learns from that. In his defence, he is clearly not as big a control freak as Cheika and has brought talented people into the coaching staff. Congrats to the Brumbies, outstanding work at the breakdown. Lolesio definitely a class act.

  • If Brad Thorn needs one crucial thing for 2021 it is a functioning Line-Out. If (IF) the Reds had a line-out on parity with that of the Brumbies, they would have won that game in the last 10 minutes.

    • idiot savant

      Brad Thorn has brought many good things to the Reds but the line out is not one of them. He has been the line out coach from the day he started. Every single year the Reds have had one of the worst line outs in Super Rugby. And the line out is so much more important than the scrum. If the Reds are to improve, Thorn needs to sack himself as line out coach as none of his superiors have the balls to do it. And knowing how to value add is one of the great leadership skills. Thorn has already done it by letting Lillicrap take over the scrum and giving full rein to McKay in the backs. Just lately it appears jettisoning his old mate Ryan from defence and replacing him with Todd has also borne fruit. So take the next step Thorney and leave behind your outdated line out ideas and get someone on board who is part of this century. Ben Mowen is back from France, get Van Humphries back from the Force… #anyonebutbrad

  • Reds Revival

    I think it would have been premature for the Reds to win this year. Clearly, they have the core skills and attitude of a team that will go far. However, it is a huge ask to go to Canberra and beat one of the most experienced, and best coached franchises around. They will be better for the experience, and will be approach it completely differently next year. What they got out of this year was belief that they were good enough.
    After the Banks try, I feared that the floodgates would open, and it would be an embarrassing score line, but to their credit (and much in the Thorn mould), they dug deep and fought back. Exciting finish to the game, which is what you would expect of these two teams.
    As for the Brumbies, while they stuttered at times, they were excellent. They were composed and yet aggressive. For mine, Lolesio, McCaffrey and Neville were all brilliant. Well done Brumbies. Looking forward to the Wallabies selections now.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Steve, that was a great game and a well deserved win for the Brumbies. Points from the game
    – penalties and lineout fails really hurt the Reds and gave the momentum to the Brumbies.
    – Agree 100% with MoM and I think Lolesio is looking good for either a start or backup 10 for the Wallabies. Demonstrates a maturity to me that I think deserves a start.
    – Tate McDermott was very good and I think demonstrated again that he is the form 9 in Australia and I’d like to see him start.
    – Great to see TK play so well and maybe he is worth a start, especially if there are injuries
    – Great battle in the loosies and I think they neutralized each other well which is why no one really stood out and they all made some greater plays at times.

    Overall I thought it was a fantastic game that lived up to expectations well. A step too far for the Reds and maybe the games leading up to this took it out of them a lot. Brumbies certainly looked fresher later in the game to me.

  • Rugby Truth

    Excellent coaching from rhe Brumbies brain trust. They’re the only Australian team that has a plan A, B, and C.

    Thought the Brumbies did an excellent job of taking the power out of the Reds big fellas – They attacked various channels, and the Reds big fellas were just run out of the game. Also nullified the Reds back row as well.

    Scrums still a mystery.
    B.P-A stands up first but Gardiner penalised the Brumbies.

  • Nutta

    Hello Cobbers

    Random thoughts of a random fella:
    * Thanks Steve
    * You can’t win a game with just a dominant scrum (did I just say that?). You need something else (like a working lineout).
    * JOC will make a great Wobbly 12 outside of Lolesio. JOC is just a smidge in-front of Simone IMO. Both are true 2nd distributor options but JOC is a reliable place-kicker. Bloody Hell, did I just say that? I would still be tempted to put K’train outside JOC especially with Petaia hurt. And Banks should be the FB. Bring 2Cows off the bench.
    * Sio/Fingers/6A’s should be the starting front row. Slipper/BPA/Tupou are the bench. Tupou creates magic but it’s too often black magic.
    * Between Murray Douglas, LSL, Blyth and Mat Phillips we have good Locks. And Caderyn Neville isn’t far off either.
    * My backrow is Hooper/Valetini & Wilson. Samu and likely Swinton are the bench.
    * Commiserations to the Pinko’s but their head-space just wasn’t there on the night and the injuries went against them. There was chat from commentators that they had a very intense training week leading in and they looked spent from the get go. But their fight-back and heart was never in-doubt.
    * Huge congratulations to the Donkeys and particularly their coaching staff on a great win using more than one type of arrow (obligatory backhander for the usual ‘all they do is maul’ haters)

  • Who?

    Well done to the Brums. They completed the pattern – the team coming off the bye won every game in the comp.

    Petaia really is something special. His try setup was class. But what was with that pass?! Why increase risk with that sort of ball hold and pass?
    Daugunu’s one handed dummy was something special, but again, risky…

    LSL. Jamie Pandaram said on Offsiders today that World Rugby’s looking to crack down on that – to suspend players who get their heads in the wrong position when tackling. Because 75% of all concussions come from tacklers who put their heads in unsafe locations. And, amazingly, it’s seemingly more and more common to see players sticking their heads on the wrong side. Heads in front of knees and the like.

  • Who?

    I think they could look at penalizing coaches and organisations who have players who consistently use poor technique. Especially – especially – in the younger age groups.

    Too many times I’ve seen coaches applauding players when they’ve run around to make a dominant shoulder tackle and have put their head in terrible positions. Then we see it transfer through the higher grades. Where we applaud guys for making try saving tackles with terrible techniques that see them knocked out. Only last week, a tackle by Tate McDermott was used as an example (not on here) of a defensive system, where Tate chased a Rebels player wide left off a scrum, and in making the tackle stuck his head in front of the ball carrier’s left knee. He dove to make the cover tackle, but used his right shoulder. He got away unscathed, but it was risky.

    • Minz

      Saw an american football article describe a rugby-style tackle as safer and what they needed in their game to reduce concussions. The article was illustrated with photos of a tackler with his head on the wrong side, about to get a knee in the temple. I cringed.

      • Who?

        I know… It’s crazy, but doing that’s still safer than ‘bury your helmet in his chest!’ as they’ve previously been instructed by coaches.

        First time I was taught to tackle, I was told, “stick your head into the ball carrier’s far thigh, and pull the near thigh towards you putting them into the splits…” I was five, I brought down a fifteen year old. Who landed on top of me. I had a splitting headache… Didn’t do that again!

ACT Brumbies

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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