Brumbies vs Highlanders Round 9 2013
ACT Brumbies

Brumbies roll the clan in Dunedin

Brumbies roll the clan in Dunedin
Smith in Wallaby Gold needs to happen in 2013

Smith in Wallaby Gold needs to happen in 2013

The Brumbies headed to Dunedin following a surprise draw with the Southern Kings. The Highlanders were still searching for their first win of the season.

Despite recruiting a host of big names in the off season, the Highlanders are the only winless team in the competition.  But they could have posed some problems for the struggling Brumbies.

Brumbies coach Jake White picked one of the strongest sides possible to get their season back on track and gave a debut to former New Zealand and Australian Sevens player Jordan Smiler.

The Match

The Brumbies seemed to have put the disappointment of last week’s result with an early try to Henry Speight after just three minutes. The try came on the back of a Highlanders mistake from a Nic White box kick.

The visitors were then able to add to their score after great work at the tackle from George Smith saw Lealiifano add three more points.

The Highlanders finally got on the board with a penalty goal of their own to fly-half Hayden Parker. And he added another shortly after as the Brumbies’ discipline in their own half started to grab the attention of referee Chris Pollock.

The Brumbies then reverted to a kicking contest to keep the ball out of their end to avoid being penalised. But when they had the ball, Henry Speight started to inject himself into the game, looking to add to his early try.

The Highlanders were their own worst enemies with lineouts going astray and other errors creeping into their game. A dropped kick in their own 22 was punished when George Smith rolled off the back of a maul and dived over for the Brumbies’ second try of the night.

The Highlanders had their best chance of their opening try through Hosea Gear but he was denied by the TMO on what looked a close call.

From that play the Brumbies got a relieving penalty but with the half time siren sounded they gave away another penalty, which was converted by the Highlanders to have them trailing by five at the break.

Nic White opened the scoring in the second half with a long-range penalty goal to settle the Brumbies, with Jake White’s half time talk probably still ringing in their ears.

Christian Lealiifano added another penalty goal to stretch the lead further. The Brumbies scored their third try to Joe Tomane, who swooped on a Highlanders turnover following a good tackle from Tevita Kuridrani and ran 50 metres untouched.

With the score now at 30-12, the Highlanders attacked the Brumbies’ line but the Brumbies’ defence held out what was thrown at them.

But the weight of possession finally took its toll and Highlanders reserve scrum-half Aaron Smith finally gave the home fans something to cheer with a try with four minutes left. This cut the lead to 11 at 30-19, which is how it ended up.

The Brumbies’ win was built on excellent defence, which had been lacking in recent weeks. The work of Brian Smith was evident and deep down they will be disappointed to concede a late try and not score a fourth with plenty of time left to do so.

The Brumbies will head home to prepare for next week’s blockbuster clash with the Queenslands Reds at Suncorp Stadium.

The Game Changer

Joe Tomane’s try in the second half seemed to halt any momentum the Highlanders had.


474936-george-smithGeorge Smith – Robbie Deans must have him in the squad. If he won’t play him, then Smith must pass on his knowledge and secrets to Hooper and Gill.

Wallaby watch

With the 30-man Wallabies logistics camp squad announced, pretty much all 11 of the Brumbies named played their part well in a team effort.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: A Smith
Conversions: Parker
Penalties: Parker 4

Tries: Speight, G Smith, Tomane
Conversions: Lealiifano 3
Penalties: Lealiifano 2, White

Cards & Citings


  • will be insanity if the aru and deans dont have smith at least on the bench for the lions. Another outstanding performance and lol at the bloke who believed he was past it and hooper was better

  • bumbys

    George smith… is a great player… looks like he is not ready to play for the Lion’s series..(he has already won the MOTM at Lions match 3 a while back a while… if memory serves me correct…. so he done that!!!)
    Highlanders were a little unlucky but the ref (i don’t usually name ref’s nowadays…) seemed pretty contentious (against the brumbies) ….

    • Luke_Baird

      The guy is world class and if he sorts his contracting shit out with Suntory, he must be in the squad at least. I don’t understand either how you can say he’s not ready for the Lions?

    • Patrick

      Not ready? In what way not ready? Not ready as in ready?

      • vidiot

        Not ready as in not signed to a contract that makes him eligible for selection? He’s in great form. Would pick him in a heartbeat if eligible. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s up to George to make himself eligible. Not up to the ARU to change the rules or offer a squad place for him to take if he wants it.

        • Muffy

          The ARU and deans dropped him like a hot rock remember… So they must change every rule, pull their pants down crawl on broken glass etc etc to get GS to play. He is still the best OS above Sir Dick in my opinion.

        • DaveL

          During the game Justin Marshall said he spoke to G Smith before the game and he confirmed that he is definately going back to Japan. I got the impression he won’t be available for Lions or back half of super 15 season

        • Merrow

          Brumbies weren’t going to do anything about the contract until later in the season. He wouldn’t have been lying as he is going back to Japan; he just didn’t say when.

    • Who?

      Ref looked like he was helping the Clan, TMO didn’t get the memo. Gear’s no try should’ve been given, but the play shouldn’t have been down there because the territory was conceded off a penalty from a scrum created by Nonu slapping the ball from the halfback’s hands.

      • JimmyC

        Agreed. Shocking display by Pollock. Nonu deserved a yellow card. Referees allow NZ teams to infringe and rather than do anything about it we have Ben Alexander complaining. Stick your shoulder in a fix them up.

        • Brackets

          Benny A tried that last week, was penalised and cost the Brums the game.

  • The Red Baron

    Smiler impressed me tonight. He had a good game and was very physical at the breakdown. He made his tackles, and didn’t do much wrong positionally. I totally agree with you BJ, a certain G.Smith operates on another level to everyone else. Quite a shame about Andrew Smith though.

  • Mart

    Smith is like Genia, a class above anyone else in his position

    • Gus

      A class above the rest? Career wise maybe (although then you are comparing him to McCaw where he is going to fall short) but on current form certainly not.

      He is playing great but so is Liam Gill. It’s a legitimate argument as to who is the form 7 in Australia this season with Gill a touch ahead in my mind. Certainly not a class above every other 7 when he’s not even unequivocally Australia’s best.

      Genia on the other hand is the worlds form halfback and universally recognized as such. Try getting a New Zealander to recognize smith as the worlds best 7…

      • jay-c

        dont get me wrong i love gill and thought he was def the form 7 at the start of the comp> but your kidding youself if you cant see smith is twice the player gill is >
        on the topic its widely acknowledged that what mcaw brings to his team is leadership, he hasnt had the pace around the field to be considered the form 7 in the world since at most 2010> his defense around the ruck is another string he has added to his bow, but purely openside breakaway talk> hes not there anymore

        • Gus

          I was not suggesting that McCaw is currently the best 7 or better than Smith today but merely throughout his career he has undoubtably been the better player. Just in case the original commenter was remarking on Smith’s career as a whole instead of currently.

          As for the best 7 on current form you are rediculous to rate Gill half the player Smith is. Gill’s form is still great just like Smith. Honestly Smith was pretty quiet the last few rounds, it’s nice to see he’s back to excellent form.

          The good thing about this though is we don’t have to argue here because a week from now we will have a definitive answer. No doubt one of us will be eating humble pie, just don’t be shocked when Gill shows that he is far more than just an able competitor for Smith.

        • Joker

          So we all agree that Hooper will be running on with the gold 7 Jersey? Haha

        • jay-c

          its a very difficult point to argue with mccaw and smith- consider for a minute the strength of their relative forward packs> purely talking about the 7 position- id rate smith higher but whos the better player? thats much harder with so many variables i wouldnt even touch it.
          with gill and smith i wouldnt hesitate to say smith is a superior 7 and superior player. i think gill is a great 7, but unless smith or pocock is injured i dont see a place for him on the bench for the wallabies as i believe hoopers running game brings more than what we lose by not having gill there. (i have no doubt he would perform admirably in their absence).
          please note: i take very seriously the mental impact having smith on the field vs the lions -they know him, that scares them. i rate this far above the surprise factor gill brings. smith and pocock bring a gun to a knife fight- a knife can still win, but the knife fighter is shit scared of the confrontation and chances are has lost it mentally before the battle has begun

  • Andy

    how good is speight… When can we get him in Gold? Also, if they are picking 10’s on form surely Toomua gets a look in?

    • Ooaahh

      He’s good offensively. His defence needs a lot of work.

      • Brackets

        Did you see his massive tackle (toomua), can’t recall who he hit but it was huge. Anyway, since when was defence a necessity for Wallaby no. 10s?

  • Coodabeenawesome

    Fuck George Smith says Robbie. Benny Mac from WA is more than enough cover when Pocock goes down…

  • Lee Grant

    Top report Brumby Jack; it looks like the Brumbs have got their mojo back because it was their best all-round performance of the season..

    It made me proud to see that defensive effort from Aussies and I wonder if NZ Customs double-checked their passports on departure, just to make sure they didn’t have too many ring-ins.

    For those who watch Star Trek re-runs, they looked like the Borg and acted like cogs in a machine when there was danger of penetration.

    They reinforced my view that defence is not just about tackling; it’s also about being in the right spot to make a tackle and to do it early enough in the tight before a runner gets momentum.

    It’s also about combinations; helping a team mate dominate a tackle, yet also not helping him when an off-load may be made or when it’s better to come in as the second man to fetch or to get the hit in a counter-ruck.

    You have to be as smart on defence as you are on attack, and the Brumbies were.

    The Brumbs did all those things and more on defence right until the end. I knew to a certainty that Aaron Smith would snipe, as he does it, often to a fault, when he gets the ball close to the line. But the defenders have to be excused because they were tired and A. Smith was fairly fresh from the bench.

    George Smith has amazed me since his return. He shouldn’t have because I have watched him since he was at school, but to play like he does at his age is exceptional.

    I hope he is available to play the Lions because I think it is a series for experienced, hard-nosed players, in the main, notwithstanding that I was at the ground when George got man of the match in the 3rd test in 2001, on his 21st birthday.

    Hooper and Gill are fine young players, but I would go for George just as I would have preferred a fit and in-form Pocock had he been available.

    But I digress – well done the Brumbies, you made us proud, and I hope that the Reds do too in NZ.


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