Review: Brumbies out of jail over the Cheetahs - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Review: Brumbies out of jail over the Cheetahs

Review: Brumbies out of jail over the Cheetahs

The Brumbies were back in finals action for the first time since 2004 against a Cheetahs side who were making their finals debut.

The match really did go down to the wire, with the Cheetahs scoring right at the death. Unfortunately for the visitors Riaan Smit’s conversion attempt,that would have sent the match to extra time, hit the post  and the Brumbies came out on top 15-13.

The Match

The Brumbies started the match off well and looked to have exorcised the demons from last week’s poor game against the Force.

The home side opened the scoring in just the second minute with a penalty goal to Christian Leali’ifano to settle the nerves.

They looked like they could extend their lead but the visitors certainly didn’t look like they were worried about the cold conditions.

Scrambling defence and turnover ball were keeping the Cheetahs in the match with Heinrich Brussow a menace at the breakdown.

In the 15th minute they took the lead with the opening try of the match to outside centre Johann Sadie after a brilliant pass in the lead up.

The home side had further chances to add to their score, but a series of missed penalties from Leali’ifano kept the visitors just in front.

It was third time lucky for Leali’ifano as his second penalty goal gave the Brumbies a slender 6-5 lead at the break.

The second half started with more of the same with neither team really able to get on top.

The Cheetahs took back the lead with a penalty to Riaan Smit but the Brumbies snatched it back almost immediately with a long range penalty to Nic White.

The Brumbies had an excellent chance to score their first try but they bombed it with the Cheetahs pressuring them into a mistake on the left wing.

The Cheetahs made some changes with Sarel Pretorius proving a real handful, well and truly keeping his team in the match.

The Brumbies added two more penalties to extend their lead to seven points with just over ten minutes to play.

The Cheetahs looked to have bombed their chances of scoring with a dropped ball right on the Brumbies line to give the home side some relief. They kept playing right to the end and with Ryno Benjamin diving over in the left corner with time almost up, silence fell over the crowd with Smit lining up his conversion attempt from the sideline.

The crowd held their breath as Smit hit his shot which looked good off the boot but just hooked to the left and it hit the upright to give the Brumbies the win.

Photographs courtesy of Tim Anger Photography

The Game Changer

Riaan Smit’s conversion at the end had the crowd on the edge of their seat and they deserved better after scoring two tries to nil.


474936-george-smithGeorge Smith – was a real workhorse at the breakdown and his battle with Heinrich Brussow was a highlight of the match.

Wallaby watch

Scott Sio’s scrummaging was excellent as the Brumbies were able to dominate the bigger Cheetah pack.

The Details

Crowd: 14,020

Score & Scorers

Penalties: Lealiifano 4, White

Tries: Sadie, Benjamin
Penalties: Smit

Cards & Citings


  • ben

    Jeez when im on night shift and cant sleep during the day reruns of that should do the trick. Brumbs need to lift x10 in bullsville to make the final.

  • Knackers

    yep they will get beaten by 40+ in Pretoria with that intensity, turnover count and the crooked ref decisions that are constantly made in Pretoria favouring the Bulls.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    As a Tahs fan I tuned into see what the game had to offer and despite it being a real bun fight between the forwards, I must say that I quite enjoyed it.

    Well done to the Brumbies for doing enough to get there & good luck next week in Sth Africa against those Bulls. They will be very hard to beat but if anyone knows how, I’d expect that Jake does.

    Sarel Pretorious continues to impress and watching him today, makes me wonder ‘why the hell when he was at the Tahs couldn’t we do more with him’? I’d have to think that he’d fit right into the style of play that Cheika has the boys playing.

    • Robson

      Pretorious certainly found space and holes which he had no right to find and the Brumbies need to address that before the weekend.

  • Stin

    Goneskis! Backs were shite. Bulls will punish.

  • Dougall

    Glad the Brumbies made it through but sad to think that throughout the entire match there wasn’t a moment when I thought “These guys have what it takes to take the finals”.

    Crusaders showed last night why they can and most likely will be champions, and I am sure the Bulls and Chiefs will show these same signs next week.

    Brumbies need to really take it up another couple of notches, best of luck to them.

    • 30 mm tags

      The Lions tour really made the last few weeks very disjointed and gave the S15 a 2nd rate feel to it, after the Lions tour. The Reds and Brumbies both played sensational games against the Lions but for whatever reason, including the parallel blockbuster ongoing breaking news story re the National coaching job, needed time to get refocussed on the S15. Colby Fainga’s time has come and it appears that George Smith can’t go on forever. Lets hope CL can spend his entire week practising goal kicking.Good luck Brumbies.

      • Dougall

        Yeah very true, hopefully it’s only up and over now

  • Vinnie Gorham

    i rate it expensive pie!!! LOL i got a free ticket off some random at the gate THANKS for the best birthday gift ever!!! go brumbies!!!

  • AJ

    Those saying the Brumbies don’t have a hope against the Bulls aren’t giving enough credit to the Cheetahs pack. Brussow was dominant at the breakdown, and their big forward runners were running at the backs. Despite this, the Brumbies held up. The Brumbies forwards dominated the scrum, against a substantially heavier pack, and although they didn’t bend the line like they normally do, there was some good interplay and several quality half-breaks from the forwards.

    Lets not kid ourselves – this game was always going to be a slog in the forwards, and the backs were unlikely to see a lot of the ball. I think the Brumbies did well, and I don’t rate the Bulls as having THAT much better a forward pack. At the very least, the breakdown will be more settled next week.

    I don’t think the Brumbies are favourites for next week (nor should they be), but I’m quietly optimistic.

  • Cosmo

    Backs need to lift in attack, need to be doing the simple things right draw and pass!!! Matt toomua had one of his worst games IMO

    • AJ

      Are you saying Toomua was an example of not draw-and-passing, or is that separate to him having a bad game?

      The game plan was playing territory, and they did that reasonably well. 8 handling errors vs 7 for the Cheetahs, and only two shanked kicks according to the stats(one of which was Toomua out on the full). As I said earlier, I think the Cheetahs forward runners targeted the Brumbies backline, and Toomua held up well in defense. The guy is an absolute tackling machine!

  • Vinnie Gorham

    i dont like rathbone, his defence was woeful and not top much in attack, toomua to start this week

    • Moons

      Don’t you mean Tomane…

      • Vinnie Gorham


  • wannabprop

    Didn’t see the game unfortunately. Highlights and comments don’t exactly instill confidence for next week. Hopefully the Brums can lift then improve even more to take on the likelihood of the Cru in a home final! And speaking of finals, what’s the story with the pathetic crowd? First final appearance since 2004, blah blah. Very disappointing…

    • Mumma Brumby

      I agree the crowd numbers were very disappointing but the forecast of snow showers for Sunday morning and the very cold temperatures (the apparent temperature struggled to get above 0 degrees for most of the weekend) didn’t encourage supporters to leave warm homes and TVs. I was one of the brave who ventured out – it was absolutely freezing in the Stadium.

      • Brackets

        Agreed, I was there too and it was bitterly cold. Also I don’t know if it had much of an impact, but was the last weekend of the school holidays, 2 families I know who are members were travelling home and couldn’t make the game. Flights etc that couldn’t be changed.

      • wannabprop

        Mumma B. Given you were one of ‘the brave’, this is obviously not directed at you, but I’m sorry, anyone who lives in Canberra knows it can be a cold old h$%e. This is the sort of dross I expect from Tah supporters – excuses, excuses. If you’re a rugby fan, and a Brumbie supporter, and your team is in the final for the first time in almost 10 bloody years, rug up, bring a thermos, and get out and support them! Could’ve lifted them to a better performance (and lack of may have contributed to a potential loss). Can’t imagine any British rugby (or Kiwi for that matter) fan being so lame. If by chance the Brums make the final, and it’s against the Cru (in Canberra), I guess we can only hope that that town’s normal weather pattern changes dramatically overnight. Jake White must be shaking his head.

  • vic

    Doom and gloom guys. Im not a brumbies fan but thank god we have 1 team in the mix. Who cares how they won they got there. George smith was outplayed by scott farrdy, scott sio, petter kimlin, Henry spieght, and nick white. He looks old and slow. I love George but i think his body is finding it hard to recover. The intensity in Japan is a tad easier. Go Australia. Who cares what your team is if an aussie team wins the comp im happy.

    • Max Brammer

      would be great to see all those Brumbies in the wallabies squad

  • Robson

    Well done to the Brums for hanging in there and making it to the next level, so kudos for heart and guts, but looking bereft of ideas on attack. Mind you all the attacking ideas in the universe are no good without the pill.

  • HK Red

    Unfortunately Australian forwards are so far behind everyone else at the breakdown. I’m sick of seeing the best Australia has either spectating or just falling over at the ruck. Without G Smith today, and if Strauss had taken on of those early penalties, guarantee the Brumbies would be on holidays now.
    Loved Kaf’s commentary about 10 minutes in about the “shell-shocked” Cheetahs. Huh? What are you talking about mate? About 90 seconds later the Cheetahs blew through the Brums defence and scored.

  • Pedro

    Despite not being impressive the brumbies improved markedly on last week. If they can continue to improve they are a chance against the Bulls, especially if the scrum can have another big game.

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