Brumbies dominated by rampant Crusaders - Green and Gold Rugby
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Brumbies dominated by rampant Crusaders

Brumbies dominated by rampant Crusaders

The Brumbies hoodoo against the Crusaders continues following a heavy 40-14 loss at home.

The Crusaders put on a counter attacking clinic running in six tries to two to put a dent in the Brumbies title chances after conceding more than 40 points for the second home game in a row.

The Match

It didn’t take long for Nemani Nadolo to make his presence known after barging over off a scrum with just six minutes gone after an error from Tomas Cubelli in attempting to clear a kick that went straight into the back of Scott Sio’s head.

The Brumbies were able to hit back minutes later with Robbie Coleman scoring in the left corner but that was about it for the Brumbies in the first half.

The Crusaders controlled the half from that point with the counter attacking they are known for causing problems for the Brumbies defence.

They turned a simple tackle into their second try after Matt Todd stripped the ball from Scott Fardy in contact and he set sail for the the line before offloading to winger Jone Macilai-Tori who ran untouched to the line.

The launched another raid from inside their own half with Kieron Fonotia slicing through the line and he found Nadolo who managed to add to his offload tally for the season and Israel Dagg hada simple run to the line.

The Brumbies discipline was starting to become a problem with Jaco Peyper handing out a warning after a series of penalties on their own 5m line and after the Crusaders ran the same lineout play three times, Codie Taylor rolled over for the Crusaders fourth try of the half.

The home side had one last chance to hit back before the break but a knock on ruined any chance to leave the score at 26-7.

The Crusaders came out with much of the same early in the second half with scrambling defence saving them on a number of occasions.

An unlikely intercept and kick through from Ben Alexander lead to a penalty and a neat backline move saw Joe Tomane continue his fine try scoring form with his fourth in two weeks. Lealiifano converted from wide out to make 26-14.

The Brumbies thought they might be able to close the gap but a dropped ball from Tevita Kuridrani on the attacking 22 ended up with the ball being kicked ahead and a magic one handed pick up from David Havili saw Taylor score his second of the game and Mo’unga’s conversion made it 33-14.

The visitors made it impossible for the Brumbies to play and on the rare chance they had of getting out of their own end, a knock on from Joe Tomane with Robbie Coleman in support summed up the game.

With 15 minutes to go the Crusaders added their sixth try to replacement Marty McKenzie after good leadup work by Macilai-Tori to extend their lead to 40-14.

The Brumbies had one last chance to add to their score but the Crusaders defence again proved too much for the Brumbies to penetrate.

The Brumbies will need to regroup before heading to Invercargill to face the Highlanders next week.

The Game Changer
The game was all but over by half time with the Crusaders out to a 26-7 lead.

Could have picked any of the Crusaders starting side with many of them putting a decent shout but Matt Todd gets the nod with his presence around the breakdown reminiscent of previous Crusaders players wearing seven red.

Wallaby Watch
Joe Tomane made a number of breaks down the flanks before coming off injured and one of few shining lights for the Brumbies in a tough game for any of the Wallabies contingent to stand out in a well beaten side.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Coleman, Tomane
Conversions: Lealiifano 2
Tries: Nadolo, Macilai-Tori, Dagg, Taylor 2, McKenzie
Conversions: Mo’unga 4, McKenzie





  • I don’t know if the Brumbies had an off day or the Crusaders were just that good but hey had an incredible game. It was like a train wreck you just can’t look away from.

    • Slim 293

      The Brumbies were certainly outclassed by a far better team, but unlike the Chiefs match a few weeks ago I felt they actually had the opportunities to at least keep the scoreline respectable, but they just did so many things wrong I don’t know where to start… and for that I think this game is a far bigger disappointment.

    • MST

      Sad to say it wasn’t an off day, Its a rinse and repeat of the Chiefs game. Their game plan is predictable and floored. The attack is relatively non-existent, is one dimensional and is structured around looking for opportunity, rather than creating any. They shovel the ball side to side looking for opportunity, usually going quickly to the wings as a habit, but as they don’t off load (bottom 3 team in offloads) its easy to pick that if they go to the line is individually and without support.Its rare you see the forwards do quick work around the corner or anyone running on to the ball in attack.

      It is incomprehensible that they cannot grasp the concept that their are absolutely reliant and habitual in kicking as a preferred exit strategy and encouraging counter attacks as a consequence. We collective though with Mogg and White gone they would be rid of the bad habit but Toua and Cubelli have kept the problem going.

      The defence is slow, stodgy and standoffish, and continues with forwards in the centre of the field which are ripe for the taking with some footwork. The defensive only works when the structural can reanmain intact and in perfect alignment, and as such, they fear the risk of charging up to shut down a play, rather preferring to be passive and wait for the attack to come to them.

      The reality is they learnt nothing from the Chief game. They are still overly structured, laborious in movement, no real threat in attack, no deception or run from the centres and slow. in general. They are simply being played out of every games by team who are quicker, more passionate, happy to play what is in front of them and take a risk and exploit the Brumbies for the predictable beast they have become.

      • Darrin Briggs

        Yeah. said it all

      • nmpcart

        Although Mogg and White have gone the coach is the same – the kicking as a preferred exit strategy must be Larkham’s preferred tactic.

  • Keith Butler

    Much as I hate to admit it, the Crusaders were a class apart. Who would have thought that the Rebels would top the Aussie conference mid season. Mind you I hate to think what they will do to the us when we meet. It won’t be pretty.

  • Big Ted

    Brums looked worse than they did against the Chiefs. Smiler is not even half a poor mans Pocock. Lilo passed balls behind the man all day and dropped off tackles. Toomua looked like he was running at half pace. Ben Alexander looks faster than half our backs. A real lack of leadership shown by some old heads. Staniforth has impressed every time he has come on and surely could do twice the job Smiler is currently doing but the remainder of the bench maybe save for Mann-Rea was a level or two below their counter-part.

    One dimensional rugby (Australian Style) was lapped up by another rush defence (that was frequently 1-2 steps offside) and no player has the foresight or ability to come up with another plan to get around it.

    No Carter, McCaw, Nonu, Smith… Who cares, the darkness are gonna wipe the floor with us again unless Cheiks can pull another rabbit out his arse

  • Julesie Bolwell

    I know that there are 23 people in one team and that it is certainly looking like a dark time for the Brumbies with these record home losses… BUT! There is one man who can get the brumbies back on track for the finals and as a powerhouse. Please rise, David Pocock!

  • Julian Manieson

    It’s literally gut wrenching to admit it, and I’m not advocating anything but keeping him on as coach for the next few years
    But Bernie has literally the best squad of players in the Australian conference and we’re getting humped regularly.
    It sucks because of the genius (and counterattacker) he was as a player, but unless we’re yet to come good this season (please be the case), our patterns of attack, defence and counterattack need a serious looking at.
    Still love you Bernie please work some magic

  • Graham Holmes

    For a side led by the Wallaby captain, coached by the assistant Wallaby coach and staked with 1st string Wallabies these are disturbing times for the Brumbies. Badly outclassed on both sides of the ball by the Chiefs, a week off to sort some problem areas and then badly outclassed once again by the Crusaders.

    The Brumbies tight 5 looks extremely ineffective at set piece whilst the attacking threats coming from 10,12 & 13 are non-existent. Stephen Moore looks dreadfully off the pace whilst Kuridrani is nowhere near involved enough for a supposed good test player.

    Worth pointing out the Brumbies have repeatedly stated that the off-field crisis there will have no bearing on the playing squad. Results to date would suggest completely the opposite!!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I think you bring up a good point about the off field issues. To say it has no bearing on the team is at best hopeful. Why the RFU allows this sort of crap to continue is beyond me, for all the faults of the NZRFU they’ve got the management of the game sorted better than here

    • Bay35Pablo

      Maladministration and getting pumped by the saders only funny when it happens to NSW …?

      • Graham Holmes

        Not at all. Larkham and the player leadership group here either trying to convince themselves they can isolate the Boardroom issues, or they’re doing a dreadful job trying to contain it. Either way, since the dispute erupted they have lost 3 of 4 games and picked up 0 competition points from 2 games at home. All does not seem settled.

    • willie anderson

      Beg to differ. Moore is in career best form. Agree with the rest.

  • Richard

    I am sorry but modern day midfields have to be far more creative in building pressure, achieving line breaks and getting into the opposition backfield than what Leali’ifano, Toomua and Kuridrani are delivering for the Brumbies. They are little threat to organised defensive systems, particularly those with any line speed. We saw it against the Chiefs and again Sunday against a Crusaders team with a very young, inexperienced 10, 12 & 13.

    I wonder if Larkham is starting to get exposed as the Brumbies Head Coach? I appreciate that may read a little controversial as they typically have been masterful under his regime in their structured, organised approach to rugby. However, it is a playing style not new in it’s existence and not exempt from careful study and counters by opposition coaching staff. When under pressure, Larkham talks about “going back to their structures” but I wonder if those structures now are sufficient or are they emerging as worthwhile against poor to modest teams – but lacking in effectiveness against quality, well organised opposition.

    The Brumbies to me look in need of a very hard re-think. Yes the culture within the playing squad is good and yes David Pocock coming back will help. But this is a team with 6 Wallabies in their forward pack and international players in key backline positions. They do not dominate up front, they leak too many tries and outside of Joe Tomane do not create or score enough attacking tries themselves. Looks a recipe for modest results – in a competition with too many modest teams.

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