Brumbies snag Sharks and head to the semi final - Green and Gold Rugby
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Brumbies snag Sharks and head to the semi final

Brumbies snag Sharks and head to the semi final

The Brumbies have booked a semi-final date with Jaguares in Argentina next weekend after a 38-13 win over the Sharks in Canberra.

The damage was done early against the Sharks with three tries in the first half including a double to Pete Samu and a 24-6 lead at the break before the Sharks made a bit of a comeback before the Brumbies added two late tries to make the final margin 25 points.

The Brumbies defence was instrumental in the win as they finished up with only 32% possession and 22% territory

The Match

The Brumbies got off to a brilliant start with a try to Pete Samu within the first minute to catch the Sharks off guard, probably still trying to warm up in the 1 degree conditions. Rory Arnold supplied the inside ball to Samu and he set sail for the line from 35 metres out to score.

The Sharks showed they were prepared to be patient with the ball with a long sequence of play that eventually ended with Curwin Bosch stepping up from halfway with penalty goal to get them on the board.

But the Brumbies continued their hot start with their second try in the opening 15 minutes as Tom Banks sliced through the defensive line and found Arnold who put Speight away in the corner as Arnold claimed his second try assist and Lealiifano made it 14-6 with the conversion from the sideline.

Bosch and Lealiifano traded penalty goals – only their fourth of the season – but it was the Brumbies with all the momentum and it was Samu with his second try, this time off the back of a rolling maul for a 24-6 lead, which was the first the Sharks had conceded.

The Sharks had their chances to reduce the margin but the Brumbies defence, including their maul defence, and poor handling from the visitors saw the Brumbies head to the break with a 24-6 lead despite only 27% territory.

Embed from Getty Images

The Sharks had a golden opportunity to get something going at the start of the second half after an error from the Brumbies off the restart but came up empty handed after a forward pass on attack in the 22.

Robert du Preez was struggling to get his backline going but it was when Bosch stepped in at first receiver that they looked more threatening and trying to get the centre pairing of Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am involved.

Eventually they did get over the line in the 58th minute through Esterhuizen after a series of penalties going their way in the Brumbies 22 and made it 24-13.

That gave the Sharks some confidence and they enjoyed the share of possession over the next few minutes and would have had the Brumbies a little nervous as they started to find gaps but couldn’t execute.

But it would be the Brumbies who would score next after weathering the Sharknado to seal the game as Joe Powell snuck through a gap to score and make it 31-13 as the Brumbies cleared their bench.

The Brumbies weren’t content with that margin and added a last minute try to Matt Lucas to run out 38-13 winners and will pack their bag for Buenos Aires before jumping on the bus on Sunday morning for a big travel day.


The Game Changer

No real moment stood out as the Brumbies had an 18 point lead at the break and despite a late surge from the Sharks, they added two late tries to run out 25 point winners.

The G&GR MOTM

Rory Arnold – It might have been Pete Samu but he went off at half time with a hamstring twinge but Arnold had his hands in the first two tries and was monstering the Sharks maul with great effect.

Wallaby Watch

Up against the a big Sharks pack the Brumbies held their own and their front row which has worked so well in 2019 continued their form. The backs had a quieter game in a defensive effort however Tom Banks was solid at the back and help setup Speight’s try.


The Details

Score & Scorers

BRUMBIES 38
Tries: Samu 2, Speight, Powell, Lucas
Conversions: Lealiifano 5
Penalties: Lealiifano
SHARKS 13
Tries: Esterhuizen
Conversions: Bosch
Penalties: Bosch 2

Cards

Nil

  • Bobas

    Shork fans have an abnormal fear of these now:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f6e0326dda2561acfeda957b2113ac54eecd7cf70f1b0261287feb7a8a07bb5.jpg
    Brumbies inside balls

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold!

  • Bobas

    Great write up Steve L, congrats on the new coaching gig too.

    How good was the poetic justice when the carried back was called a 22 and the brumbies scored off the 2nd phase of kick return.

  • Steve

    Great writeup thanks Steve.

    What a game – Brumbies so dominant on 30% of possession! Felt like they had the ball three times as much with the amount that they did with it.

    Arnold – What a beast. Huge loss for Aus rugby, makes me sad.

    7As – Also what a beast. Can’t believe he’s been putting in 70 minute efforts all season at THP while Sio and Slipper lounge around on the bench.

    Hope Samu’s hammy isn’t that bad and he’s right for the final in Canberra in 2 weeks :)

    • Geoffro

      Yeah,Arnold.He just gets better and better…….then he’s gone.Like to mention Lilo and his toughness in the second line of defence,puts our other 10’s to shame.

      • Steve

        It’s sad how the timing has worked out… He’s found another level this year but until now (I hope at least) he wasn’t rated highly by Cheika et al so has already signed a contract overseas – Probably well under his market value if he were to have a good WC.

        He’s perhaps a bit too old to be back for the next World Cup cycle so it might be the last we see of him in Aus.

        HUGE loss when Australia produces quality tight 5 forwards so rarely.

        • Geoffro

          mate he’s knocked the selection door down.Cheika was selecting Skelton on the basis of stuff he could do which Arnold does better and it’s only part of his game.

    • Samu won’t be going to Argentina, unfortunately

      • Geoffro

        McCaffrey to start at 8 ?? Could be far worse

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I hope we see 6. Valetini, 7. Brown, 8. McCaffrey now

        • Geoffro

          Cusack went ok,.don’t think he’ll keep his place ??

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think Cusack played well. But I don’t think he’s good as Brown at 7 (Brown’s work rate in defence and in the breakdown is immense), I don’t think he’s as good as Valetini at 6 and he’s certainly not as good as McCaffrey at 8.

        • Geoffro

          McKellar may be reluctant to fiddle too much after already losing Samu.if he replaces Pete with McCaffrey he’s not exactly getting like for like and might want Cusack there as an offset to what he’s losing/gaining by having to replace Samu.I mean,Cusack may be a bit better with ball in hand which he’s lost with Samu while he has gained more breakdown power with McCaffrey.Confused (I certainly did a good job on myself) :)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think Samu and McCaffrey are similar players… Cusack makes a few too many silly errors to be as good as Brown, who is ice cool, in my opinion of course.

        • Bobas

          Cusak has the 80+min engine. I think that’s why he starts. Would love to see him grow in confidence like Simone has.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Think all those backrowers do though. Brown certainly does too.

    • Mart

      Is Samu now shaping for wallabies number 8?
      consistently good at the moment. And with the mullet, tucked in shirt, and extra beef in the off season, looking the goods.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    That was a clinical Kiwi-esque example of absorbing pressure and counterattacking brilliance. Not much one can say, all the usual suspects did well. Once again, Lachie McCaffrey’s impact at key moments after off the bench were crucial.

    Will have one word of caution – Folau Faingaa should be the Wallaby booker, but he needs to keep his hot head under control. Like Ioane and Coles he gets involved in too much of that shoving nonsense. I still have nightmares over that crazy “headbutt” he did last year.

    • Geoffro

      +1 on Faingaa.If he’s going to get into trouble with anyone it’ll be the Jags,they love that sort of shit and expect them to go carrying on like like Neymar if given a chance

    • Brisneyland Local

      What is it with Hookers loving to punch on! Must be something in the bree, Nutta I think did a good write up on Hookers.

    • Singapore Sling

      One problem I had with McCaffery was that kick just after half time after the falcon turn over. What was he thinking with numbers outside him?

      • idiot savant

        Yeah I think that will come up in review. Been watching too much Higgers.

    • Cole

      Head butt was tolu latu.

      • Cole

        Oh wait…that was a face shove.

  • Tim

    I watched the game and I was really annoyed with the team. All Australian rugby teams do this and it frustrates the hell out of me. We are up by alot all our try’s come within 2-3 phases yet we kick the ball away. Not good kicking to keep the sharks inside their own 22. Poor kicking allowing the sharks back inside our half. The crusaders and the Jaguares are really good at countering and will have a field day. We should have put them to the sword early in the second half with ball in hand. Overall I was happy with how the brumbies defended the line some big shots coming in. The forwards really stepped up I thought. Tom Banks please start somewhere in the wallaby 15

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      But was it bad? The Shorks’ attack never threatened. We kicked the ball back to them and let them tire themselves out with their ineffective attack, before counterattacking highly effectively.

      • Tim

        Earlier this year we did this tactic against the crusaders. Yes some of our big names were out during this clash but the final score was huge. Look at last weeks rounds when the rebels and tahs got smashed. They kicked the ball away.

        • Steve

          I think the difference is that the Brumbies are adaptive when it is and isn’t working Tim.

          When the Brumbies were so effective on counterattack and the Sharks weren’t really showing anything, it made sense (as the final score shows).

          Unlike the Tahs and Rebs, the Brumbies seem to be clever enough to adapt their tactics when something isn’t working.

          The Rebels in particular drove me insane in the last two rounds, mindlessly doing the same thing as the opponents racked up a cricket score

        • Tim

          I’m just raising my concerns for next week. They will be jet lagged and tired. They will kick the ball away which will feed the Jaguares.

        • Steve

          Yep, I don’t disagree that that tactic would be severely punished by the Jags, Sader and Hurricanes.

          I just hope they are smart enough to only use it when it’s working!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But the Brumbies only conceded one try, and were defending a huge lead (unlike vs the Saders). I’ll agree it’ll be disappointing if they do it of the game is in the balance in the semis or final.

      • Geoffro

        Admit to getting a bit nervous when the sharks scored,they did put a lot of phases together and threatened the line which eventually gave.Gotta say I was a bit pissed too that the Brums were kicking possession away

    • idiot savant

      The Shorks line speed increased enormously after half time. No doubt this was the message in the sheds. Thats what pressured the shorter clearances and less accurate kicking. However the Brums defence was A grade.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Yep I saw that too…. 45mins in and Powell kicks away posesions… and we’d hardly had any. Crazy!

  • Brumby Runner

    At least three very different aspects of the Brumbies game plan on display last night. Forwards dominance which resulted in a rolling maul try to Pete Samu, creative attack involving both backs and forwards which earned tries to Samu, Speight and Lucas, and both backed up by irresistible defense which held out the Sharks attack for the majority of the game. Icing on the top was the individual try to Joe Powell. All in all, very strong in all aspects of the game.

    Rory Arnold must be the form lock in the whole of the SANZAAR competition. Consistent ball winner at lineout time, a monster in opposition rolling mauls and an integral part of the dominance of the Brumbies’ scrum. And then he doubles up as an extra No 10 or No 13 when required. A great performance again from Rory.

    Irae Simone has become a real unsung hero in the last four or five games. His ball handling /passing skills are reminiscent of David Knox in the early Super Rugby days. And his defense has tightened up considerably since the start of the season.

    The whole team, including bench players, played a treat, but Tom Banks, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Powell have established themselves as the best in their respective positions in the Aussie conference. Where now are the naysayers who think the Brumbies’ core is inferior to Saffa teams and who are calling for Phipps/Gordon, Foley and Beale to fill the Wallabies’ spots?

    • idiot savant

      Yep it was an all court game. Brums attacked with set piece, from phase play, through the forwards, in close or out wide with the backs. McKellar has done wonders in transforming a forwards dominated game style into a threat from anywhere. At the centre of it are good decision makers deciding on those options. I cant see any reason why CLLL shouldn’t start at 10 for the Wallabies because of that decision making ability.

      Tom Banks is just ready for test football. Surely Cheika cant deny him now, even if he plays on the wing. I guess the sterner test of the Jags away might be used by the selectors as the real test for the Brums players who threaten the incumbents.

    • Andy

      Agree on Simone. Maybe getting too excited but he is legitimately putting his name in the hat for wallaby selection….this year

  • Brisneyland Local

    Gday GAGR’s well wasnt that a game worth watching. My points in no particular order:
    – Great patience in defence, strong solid and competent. Unlike most of the other Aus franchises defence.
    – Great counter attack when possession gained.
    – Arnold well dserved man of the match. Automatic Wallaby start.
    – Samu pity he was injured, was having a great game. He like the Kiwi’s he learned with, is peaking towards the business end of the season.
    – Nice little sniping run by Powell at the end.
    – The scrum was rock solid.
    – The kicking possession away was a valid tactic against the sharks. But i would be concerned if they did that against the JAg’s or the Dark Saders.
    – A lot of players there should be monties for Wallaby starts. Let see if Cheika can take of his blue glasses.
    Over to you GAGR’s.

  • Well done lads! Hopefully this win will help put an end to the Wallaby tactic of thinking that a couple flashy backs alone can win a game of rugby. We need an era of flashy forwards.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Not sure about that. England 3-0d us in 2016 by just kicking the ball back to us and making their tackles.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      OK then let’s just do that tactic then…..

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        It’s a fine tactic when your defence is good enough. It is often harder to play with the ball, than without it.

    • Brumby Runner

      He did say, kicking to world class backs. That hardly describes the Wallabies’ backline in that series.

ACT Brumbies
@steve_l15

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

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