Brumbies hold on against a much improved Waratahs - Green and Gold Rugby
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Brumbies hold on against a much improved Waratahs

Brumbies hold on against a much improved Waratahs

The Brumbies have got out of jail with a two-point win against a much improved Waratahs side 24-22 at the SCG tonight. After a tough week for the Waratahs following the sacking of Rob Penney, the scoreboard might show they lost the game but they showed much improvement as their second half efforts reeled in a 24-10 half time deficit before late drama.

The Brumbies back three trio of Tom Banks, Tom Wright and Andy Muirhead had first half tries alongside Folau Fainga’a before the Waratahs fought back in the second half with tries to Will Harrison and James Ramm after full time siren but a Will Harrison conversion attempt to send it to super time was away to the left to see the Brumbies hang on for a tense 24-22 win.

Jake Gordon’s return for the Waratahs was instrumental in their display and he seemed to take the pressure off Will Harrison and allow the backs some freedom with Izaia Perse also having a good outing as part of a whole better showing from his side.

The Waratahs will rue handling an execution errors on the line with Dave Porecki’s example just one that got away and proved the final difference in the end.

The Match

Tom Banks opened the scoring for the Brumbies in just the fourth minute as he waltzed his way past four Waratahs defenders from long range for a cracking opening try.

There were signs of life from the Waratahs after some tight play and handling down the left wing then a kick and chase into the in goal from Alex Newsome but he was beaten to the ball by Nic White.

They went desperately close again shortly after as Dave Porecki was reaching out to score but the ball was dislodged by Pete Samu .

To add insult to injury, the Waratahs kicked the ball dead after the Brumbies escaped their in-goal and from the resulting scrum conceded a penalty in their own half. After some build up phases, the ball found its way to Tom Wright on the right wing and he evaded the defence with only metres to work with and score in his first game back from injury to make it 10-0.

A penalty goal from Will Harrison sparked the Waratahs into action as they enjoyed the next passages with some encouraging play to get into the Brumbies half. A quick tap from Jake Gordon had the Brumbies on the back foot in their own 22, and Harry Johnson-Holmes had his name on the try scorers list after burrowing over from close range and level the scores.

It would be the Brumbies who would add to their score next as their clear tactic of getting the ball wide starting to open up the Waratahs defence in the wide channels and Andy Muirhead capped off a top week to add a try to his Wallabies training squad inclusion.

The Waratahs discipline gave up back-to-back penalties to get the Brumbies up the field into prime attacking zone and after seeing the back three get over the line, the forwards kept it tight and Folau Fainga’a rolled it over to score and remind Dave Rennie that he can fire up after being excluded from the Wallabies training squad.

The Waratahs had their chance to hit back just before the break but again it was handling that brought them undone as they went to the sheds at 24-10.
Embed from Getty Images

Early in the second half both sides had chances to put pressure on but a lack of execution in key areas with an errant Waratahs lineout getting the Brumbies out of trouble.

The Waratahs got a leg up as Tom Cusack copped a yellow car for repeated infringements, but they couldn’t capitalise on his ten minutes in the bin as Dan McKellar rung the changes in the forwards with Samu, Fainga’a, Nick Frost and Nic White taking a rest.

Tom Wright went within inches of scoring his second of the night but his right knee went touch in goal before he could get the ball down after chasing down a grubber kick.

As the half wore on, the Waratahs had the Brumbies making the bulk of the tackles but it was the little things keeping them from adding more points but it was a stroke of luck off a charge down on Ryan Lonergan to see Will Harrison score under the sticks and make it a seven point margin with 15 minutes remaining.

With time running down, the Waratahs had the Brumbies under the pump after Rory Scott was the second Brumbies player to the bin but a knock on at the back of a ruck with the line begging let them off.

But there would be late, late drama as Tom Cusack copped his second yellow card via the TMO of the game to leave the Brumbies exposed and the Waratahs exploited the space down the left as James Ramm scored after the siren.

It all came down to Will Harrison but his attempt to send it to super time was wide and the Brumbies got out of jail and make it eight wins in a row against the Waratahs.



The Game Changer

The second half from the Waratahs as they reeled back a 14-point margin and went within a whisker of sending it to super time and may have pulled off a dramatic win as they had all the momentum.


The G&GR MOTM

Jake Gordon – His side might have lost, but his return was important for the Waratahs and even went close to scoring right at the death and his combination with Harrison allowed a far more confident game from Harrison and the team overall.


The Details

Score & Scorers

WARATAHS 22
Tries: Johnson-Holmes, Harrison, Ramm
Conversions: Harrison 2
Penalties: Harrison
BRUMBIES 24
Tries: Banks, Wright, Muirhead, Fainga’a
Conversions: Lolesio 2

Cards

46 mins – Cusack (Brumbies) – Yellow
75 mins – Scott (Brumbies) -Yellow
80 mins – Cusack (Brumbies) – 2nd yellow

  • Hoss

    Great effort Tah’s

    Should’ve sacked the coach ages ago.

    • Ads

      Told ya he was nothin special lol

    • Too Little Too Late

      Before the game I thought if we lose by 10 it’s a pretty good outcome. The Dead Cat bounce result.
      No question on the commitment.
      Leaked a few first phase tries. Tighten the defence and we could sneak a win or two.
      It’s the sort of game that makes you believe. Not the resurrection but at least worth a couple of chocolate eggs.
      Cheers — from a believer if not a disciple yet.

    • Keith Butler

      Close but no cigar but you must (to quote the round ball game) be over the moon. The Commissioner made a massive difference and your 8 is a great prospect. If the Brick can get his act together then Tahs have a potentially great back row.

      • Hoss

        Really happy with the intent and aggressiveness shown. The Commissioner was terrific. Harris is a real prospect and when Harrison plays flat the Tah’s look SO much better.

        Still not a fan of HJH and Maddocks was vey poor, but small steps Mr Mayor, small steps.

        Makes a mockery of firing the coach, we get our captain back, Harris second run from a spell, Mad Dog back soon and the Tah’s looked significantly better, but no, sack the coach.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Who is the commissioner

        • Keith Butler

          Come on KARL get with the program – think Batman.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Now I’m totally confused

        • Keith Butler

          You must be pulling my plonker. Commissioner Gordon chief of police Gotham City. We’ll have to get Hoss to do a full update of nicknames to enlighten everyone.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’m old and in NZ we have other hero’s to use

        • Brisneyland Local

          Baaaaabara

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          And Meeeeery

        • Brisneyland Local

          AH yes forgot sweet Mary

        • Yowie

          The two inept cops from Wellington Paranormal?

          I thought that was a comedy show.

        • Keith Butler

          Changing tack completely, I’m christening Cadryn Neville The Nearly Man. Playing consistently well but I don’t reckon he’ll make into the 23.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate why is Harrison sooooooo deep so often. They lose 25m almost every time he gets the ball

  • Reds Revival

    Porecki is not doing himself any favours. That’s the third time he has missed a prime try scoring opportunity. DR won’t be impressed.
    However, it’s probably only a matter of time before Sergio Perese is back in the Wallabies frame. Another strong game from him tonight.

    • Huw Tindall

      Sergio!! Maybe Isiah :) He was pretty good. Couple of Petaia style handling errors but made aggressive tackles and good post contact metres. Him and Foketi both a big difference to the Tahs backline with Gordon of course.

    • Timbo

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who refers to him as Sergio

  • Huw Tindall

    Impressed with Bell’s shift tonight. Such a difference. Plus Harris starting to live up to the hype at 8. Even the young second rowers brought some aggression. Challenge now to keep them altogether for 3 seasons and build with some wize heads to shepard them through. Also how good was it with the Tahs fucking with the rolling maul in the second half. Cheeky stuff.

    Brums lucky in the end. They’ve got to address the discipline though. They love to give away a defensive penalty, much like the Crusaders, and a better team would have cleaned them up with that penalty count and amount of time in their 22. If say that was the Reds the Brums would have been demolished. Hopefully for them it’s enough of a rocket to get them back into things

    • Too Little Too Late

      Enjoyed the stand off on the maul. Would love to see one player attack the player with the ball and make it a tackle rather than an maul.

      • Gigs20

        They tried that late in the game but it was judged as no arms

        • David Creagh

          No it wasn’t, clearly got away with it. Rarely seen something so stupid on the rugby pitch. Dangerous for the tackler and the tackled player.

        • Hutch

          It was incredible he didn’t get penalised. Right in front of the ref, no other movement on the field to distract him.

        • Bit hard to use arms on 3 players bound together?
          Not disagreeing on the danger aspect.

        • David Creagh

          It was a cannonball at the legs of the ball carrier. This is a dangerous tackle under the definition of the laws of the game. Sa’ia Fa’Inga got away with them for years.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yep only way to approach it if the ball doesn’t go back

    • Maul, or lack thereof..
      At a guess there will be a few questions raised.

      Common go-to seems to be “tackle the ball carrier”, but with 3 players pre-bound an inability exists for the tackler to use arms.

      Interesting to see the outcome.

    • Hoppy

      Bell needs to learn how to scrum properly. He’s gapped around=d the park but is not dominant in scrums without refs help to limit his oppposition. Waratahs also got an armchair ride from the ref on rucks and tackle. He got fixated on the Brumbies last night when the Waratahs were constantly coming into tackles and rucks from the side or worse. They got huge momentum, from that and vice versa the brumbies got gunshy. Cooper is potentially a good ref but he loses objectivity very quickly

      • David Creagh

        I agree. Brumbies got a flogging in the penalty count but the Baby ‘Tahs spent a lot of time off side and off their feet. I know I am a one eyed Brumby supporter and a died in the wool ‘Tahs hater but I do not think there was consistency in how the game was refereed.

    • idiot savant

      yes they have missed Bell. His work rate was impressive. In fact that was what stood out for me for all the forwards. The work rate was high. Where has that been? The Tahs are better off without the old kiwi locks even if their line out is shaky. Because the defence is so much better with the young blokes and its great D that can lift a side out of the mire.

      • Huw Tindall

        Agree hopefully Carid and Whetton signed one year deals and we can let them go next season. Would rather have Wykes and these young guys plus a Wallaby level player like Arnold or Skelton etc. Good mix of youth and experience.

  • Yowie

    Willem Dafoe at No 7 for the Brumbies was a bit of a grub tonight. He seemed like a decent bloke in Platoon.

    • Ads

      Much more schitzo Green Goblin than Platoon!!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Yeah he looks like he’s caught the Swinton disease

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well well well, three holes in the ground usually containing water. What a difference a week makes. BL’s mad ramblings without any evidence to back them up:
    – well done Waratahs. That was an effort. Let’s hope it is not a dead cat bounce and you can actually back that up.
    – Ponies. Jesus you sucked. Yes the Tarts had improved but you guys really took it easy in the second half. I hope you coach tore it into last night for absolutely fading out. On top of that your discipline was appalling. For once there was a team less disciplined then the Reds.
    – a very scrappy game indeed.
    Over to you GAGR’s.

    • Yowie

      Easy there BL. No need to fire-up the Brumbies ahead of next weeks game.

      Why don’t you praise the Brumbies efficiency (scoring no more points than needed) and good management of injury risk as admirable qualities.

      *ahem* At this rate you Brumbies will cruise along collecting wins all the way to the finals. Keep it up lads

      • Brisneyland Local

        MAte if it had been the Reds I would have been far more critical of them.

    • Keith Butler

      So BL what’s your unbiased prediction for tonight’s game. Mouthwatering confrontation in the front rows, two competitive packs with the Reds just edging it. Backs, who cares. Could go down to the wire but depends on what Rebs teams turns up. Fearless prediction, Reds by not many.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am thinking Reds by 7, but on writing that they could equally lose by that much as well.

    • Crescent

      Yep, Brumbies sucked and Tahs benefitted from the return of experience in Gordon, some threats out wide with Perese, and some young blokes looking to make the most of their opportunity with Swinton and Dempsey out.

      Fragility of defense is still a problem, and the Brums should have made more of it. Not sure if it is too much swagger, or just the belief the Tahs would find a way to shit the bed late in the match, but the Brums failed to switch on, in my opinion.

      My view, even when fit, bench Swinton. The blokes now are focused on doing their job and getting ready for the next phase, not getting into pissy push and shove to prove how tough they are, and the pack is better for it.

      • Keith Butler

        Could be right about Swinton. Great potential totally wasted.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Isnt it funny I watched the Wallabies vs AB’s from Nov 7. The Game we won. I remember looking at Swinton thinking god you are agressive without the brains. He earnt a red that game. And during the tahs game I just hought he was constantly a mm away from a card. to be honest a bit like LSL.

        • David Creagh

          I would take Valentini or Scott-Young, better both sides of the ball, higher work rate and less stupid.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah cant disagree with that.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      The Brumbies were very poor. White was pressured all night and, as usual, that threw him off his game and he couldn’t provide the steady hand that Gordon did.
      Even with the Crusaders losing to the Highlanders there was nothing in that game that would make any of the Kiwi sides stand up and take notice

      • Brisneyland Local

        NOpe I agree. Hopefully the Reds will do something makes the Kiwis nervous. But I doubt it.

        • Yowie

          Hopefully the Reds will do something makes the Kiwis nervous.

          Introduce syphilis to a random flock of sheep?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          That’s low

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Well fuck me. So it all was Penney’s fault after all. The Brumbies looked very poor making some dumb decisions and if they play this bad in NZ even the Canes will beat them. Well done on the Tahs and Gordon definitely made a difference

    • Geoffro

      mate,if they can put in a decent performance one week into their coach going it’s (stating the bleeding obvious) back on the players and their commitment (or lack thereof ) though,as you say, they benefited from having Gordon’s leadership

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Pulling off a good game the week after your coach is sacked is par for the course mate. I’m still waiting for the announcement on Arse Clown being given the gig. I still think it’ll happen

  • Timbo

    Few points I saw.
    Heart. Lots of it. Where has it been? Where is it going? Who took it and gave it back?
    Gordon really brought leadership and direction. If it wasn’t for the spilt pill, his direction of the piggies in the 5m was excellent.
    Perese and Foketi were very good and really kept the ponies centres at bay.
    Harrison really needed to get flatter and when he did, was able to scythe past a few tired forwards. The way the entire team ran to him after that last missed kick and got around him shows a lot of character and again, heart. Maybe the player culture will be galvanised despite the exec Tom foolery(aka shit fuckery) that’s been going on.
    Lots of positives.
    Brumbies are a disgrace when it comes to pushing the laws. There probably should have been another card just before the Harrison try as Newsome was held back in the 22. 3 yellow cards, all for cynical play really sums up an incredibly talented and dominant team, that don’t seem to be able to play within the laws. Reminds me of a certain monochromatic team.
    Wright attempting to rile up Porecki, and Banks previous liberal application of Vaseline after shaving his legs plus Neville being a grub in tight makes me happy i support the Tahs while living in the nations capital. If i could offer a new sloganit would be ‘Play fair, don’t be a c$%t’.

    • Hoss

      They are an efficient and proficient side, but the brand of rugby and cynical nature of their play make them unlikable for this little blue duck anyhow.

      • Steve

        I disagree on this Hoss. I actually love the fact that laws in rugby are (more than any other game) down to subjectivity and interpretation.

        If teams work out that tactically giving away penalties is to their advantage then that’s just street smarts IMO.
        It’s only a game after all.

        • Greg

          Not for me thanks. The laws are the laws. Mistakes are one thing, deliberately trying to manipulate them is not the way the game should be played. Call me old-fashioned.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I think Gordon brought the heart with him, along with maturity and good decisions . His injury really hurt them. Mind you I thought the commentators were a bit over the top in their constant talking up of everything the Tahs did. It was almost like they were ordered to do it

      • Yowie

        “don’t talk-down the product while on air” would be express or strongly implied from any broadcaster I reckon.

  • Hutch

    Brumbies looked distracted tonight. Simone in particular had an off night. Threw an early intercept, a few dropped balls, uncharacteristic missed tackles, and zero runs. Maybe it was the bus ride, or the wallabies squad. Either way they showed they were still good enough to handle an enthused Tahs team.

  • Reds Revival

    It was definitely a good showing from the Tah’s, but they still have a way to go this season. Cohesion doesn’t happen overnight, so it will be interesting to see their performance next week. Like many, I am somewhat happy that the Tah’s will offer some competition again, but it will be a long road back for them to be challenging for the trophy.

  • Reds Revival

    With tonight’s game, I am predicting young Harry Wilson is going to have a big game. Being the competitor that he is, I reckon he is going to make a statement about being benched from the starting side last week. It will also be good to see Uru and Blyth finish the game off.

  • Jason

    So was this Brubmies shat the bed, or ‘Tahs genuinly played well, perhaps Brumbies were just too cocky?

    • Brisneyland Local

      A bit of both me thinks.

      • Jason

        Yeah, the Brumbies looked to have pulled a lot of their starters too early and just didn’t respect the Waratahs.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep concur.

        • Jason

          Ultimately I’m glad they didn’t get burnt by it otherwise they’d have handed the Reds the touriment, at least this way they keep within touching distance of the Reds. I’m not too sure the Brumbies can REALLY catch the Reds but at least it’ll be somewhat intresting heading down the home strech.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am not so confident. I think this weekend will be the hum dinger that really lets us know where both the Ponies and the reds are.

        • Jason

          I think we can all agree that’ll be on top of the Crusaders! Haha

  • Yowie

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-03/russian-medics-conduct-surgery-in-burning-hospital/100047290

    Are these doctors available as kickers for the Wallabies? They seem to be able to handle pressure.

ACT Brumbies
@steve_l15

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

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