The Brumbies have beaten the Sunwolves 47-14 in Wollongong to maintain their position on top of the Aussie conference. The 33-point final margin wasn’t assured until the second half when the Brumbies were finally able to get on top of their tricky opponents and score seven tries in total and heap more misery of the Sunwolves magical mystery tour.
The Brumbies set piece which has been one of their main threats throughout the season came under pressure throughout and were looking at a slender seven point lead heading into half time before a Rob Valetini try right on the siren plus another 19 unanswered points following the break saw them finally get on top the Sunwolves and take a bonus point out of the game.
It was a good start for the Brumbies with 18 phases on attack to start the game before an unfortunate knock on from Scott Sio inside the Sunwolves 22.
For all the Brumbies dominance in possession, the Sunwolves did well to keep the Brumbies out after making a mountain of tackles in the early stages.
Cadeyrn Neville was showing his skills running in the wide channels early and making good metres to give the Brumbies good front foot ball.
Sunwolves flyhalf Garth April was struggling to make touch at times with a strong southerly at his back and he was duly punished as Solomone Kata, Tom Banks and Toni Pulu got involved in a counter-attack before Rob Valetini offloaded to Ryan Lonergan for the opening try after 10 minutes.
The Brumbies continued to dominate territory with the Sunwolves scrambling defence getting them out of trouble, but another penalty gave the Brumbies good field position and from there Will Miller had the Brumbies second try after a neat inside offload from Murray Douglas for a 14-0 lead on 20 minutes.
But the Sunwolves wouldn’t be deterred as they worked into the game and frustrate the Brumbies into conceding a series of penalties inside their own half to put them on the backfoot.
The Sunwolves would be rewarded with their advantage and scored their opening try to hooker Efi Ma’afu and give the Brumbies a dose of their own medicine with a try through the forwards and make it a 14-7 score.
Just before the break the Brumbies added to their score with a Rob Valetini try off a Sunwolves turnover. Ben Teo lost the ball in contact coming out his own 22 and the Brumbies spread the ball wide with a nice Tevita Kuridrani pass finding Valetini before he shrugged off two defenders to score in the left corner.
Ryan Lonergan continued his 100% kicking stats with a nice sideline conversion and a 21-7 score but the Brumbies would feel the deserved more after the early domination.
The Brumbies opened up the second half in the same way they ended the first with a try in the left corner to Toni Pulu after the Sunwolves were under the pump in their own end after numerous penalties.
The Sunwolves scrum was putting the Brumbies under pressure to make the attacking platform very scrappy for Noah Lolesio to get the backs involved against a Sunwolves defence that were scrambling well at times.
But their discipline would let them down again to give the Brumbies easy metres into the 22 and after hammering the line, Tevita Kuridrani scored a well-deserved try for the Brumbies fifth of the game.
It seemed the floodgates finally opened as the Brumbies started to find space with James Slipper making an impressive run in midfield before a good team try to as Solomone Kata had a blade of grass to spare as he scored in the right-hand corner to make it a try scored in both NRL and Super Rugby at WIN stadium to make it 40-7.
With the game all but wrapped up and an eye on next week’s Waratahs game ,the Brumbies emptied the bench to give the likes of Lachlan Lonergan, Reesjan Pasitoa and Tom Ross valuable minutes.
The Sunwolves looked good to score again with a solid forward platform and Michael Stolberg had his second try in as many weeks to put some respectability in the final score. They didn’t seem to care about the final margin as they threw the ball around with Hencus van Wyk and some of his other forwards finding space that almost saw them score again.
But it would be the Brumbies who would have the final say with try right on full-time with Joe Powell getting the try. The Sunwolves had initially done well to repel the Brumbies attacking raids from Kuridrani and Valetini but Powell’s try made the final score of 47-14.
The Brumbies now head home to prepare for the Waratahs clash in Canberra next Sunday afternoon.
The Game Changer
The period either side of half-time. Dan McKellar would have been disappointed with the score at 14-7 heading towards the break before Valetini’s try. The Brumbies came out and scored 19 points in as many minutes in the second half to put the Sunwolves away.
The G&GR MOTM
In a game that blew out towards the end, there were plenty of Brumbies putting their hand up but Tevita Kuridrani get’s the nod after a strong game. Ryan Lonergan also a good shout with a try and five kicks at goal in his first start.
Tevita Kuridrani had a solid game and his pass to put Valetini away was impressive and even scored one himself.
Rob Valetini did well in and around the tough stuff and even in the wider stuff that saw him score a try too. The Brumbies front row didn’t it all their own way and the Sunwolves had them under pressure at time.
Pete Samu was industrious as always and went close to scoring a try to add to his purple patch of form.
Tom Banks had another solid game and his kicking for the line following penalties went a long way to giving the Brumbies the attacking platform they work so well off.
Score & Scorers
Tries: R Lonergan, Miller, Valetini, Pulu, Kuridrani, Kata, Powell
Conversions: R Lonergan 5, Pasitoa
Tries: Ma’afu, Stolberg
Conversions: April, Ogura