Review: Brumbies snatch late, late win against Bulls - Green and Gold Rugby
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Review: Brumbies snatch late, late win against Bulls

Review: Brumbies snatch late, late win against Bulls

The Brumbies have returned from South Africa to take on the Bulls who went close to knocking off the Reds last week.

Would jet lag get the better of the Brumbies or would the Bulls get their season back on track before heading home?

The Match

Both teams started off tentatively and were playing to not give up any easy field position in a theme that dominated the first half.

Both kickers had early shots at goal but missed as neither team really got any momentum.

It took until the 19th minute for the scoreboard to be troubled with Christian Lealiifano landing the first of three first half penalty goals.

The middle of the first half wasn’t pretty for the fans as they witnessed a kick fest but the Brumbies finally took the initiative and played the game through the forwards.

Then just before half time, the home side scored the first try of the night fullback Robbie Coleman after some great lead up play from Scott Sio, who started in place of Ben Alexander, to leave the half time score at 14-3

The second half started with the Bulls having all the momentum with a series of penalties gaining their way into the Brumbies’ 22.

They went close on one occasion when winger Lionel Mapoe was denied a try by dropping the ball but they weren’t to be denied when Jurgen Visser went over in the left corner.

Steyn added another penalty shortly after to close the gap to one as the crowd started to become nervous as some tough calls started to go against their side.

As the game wound down, the Brumbies managed to regain their composure and were awarded a penalty that Lealiifano converted to stretch the gap to four points.

The match winner

The match winner

He added another penalty to make the lead seven points and it seemed the Brumbies could hold on for a win they had to work extremely hard for.

But in the last minute the Bulls scored a try to centre JJ Engelbrecht and Steyn’s conversion levelled the score 20-20 with only seconds remaining.

Then after the siren sounded, the Bulls tried to run the ball out of their own half but instead gave up a penalty 10 metres inside their own half. Lealiifano stepped up with ice cool veins to slot the winning goal to give the Brumbies an unlikely 23-20 win.

Some quotes from the post match including this gem from Jake White on the last penalty:

I thought he [Lealiifano] kicked it really well

In comparison, Frans Ludeke from the Bulls said this of the last few phases:

…clearly offside, but that’s the game

The Game Changer

With around 12 minutes left, the Brumbies landed a penalty that seemed to halt the Bulls’ momentum. Closely followed by Jonathan White’s penalty to the Brumbies after the siren.


Scott Sio – further honours should be coming his way.

Wallaby watch

Scott Sio and Dan Palmer gave the Bulls’ front row a scrum lesson tonight.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Tries: Coleman
Penalties: Lealiifano 6

Tries: Visser, Engelbrecht
Conversions: Steyn 2
Penalties: Steyn 2

Cards & Citings

65 – Morne Mellet (Bulls)

  • Muffy

    Great game. All the tight 5 were excellent squeak I still our best hooker by far, Scott sio is one o watch, I love how straight his scrumming is, looks the goods… Is Zane Kirshner really a springbok?

  • The Ham

    A very lucky overtime penalty for the home side. Not their best game and the Bulls were the more physical around the park, I think. Not in the scrums, though. The Brumbies stuffed them there. Step forward, Sio, Moore, and Palmer!

  • Ref was shithouse. Loved the sound of his whistle too much. Sio – outstanding. its been a long long long time since we’ve had a prop and a scrum to be excited about. Coleman was great and really upped his performance from last week. Brumbs looked tired, again though, too often the attack began with players flat footed and without the support runners we’ve been accustomed to seeing. A draw would have been the fair result but hey, always delighted to see an Australian team get up

    • Who?

      Draw wouldn’t have been a fair result. If the ref hadn’t blown constant and regularly bewildering penalties, the Brums might’ve had a chance to get into the game. Yes, both sides did struggle to find their way into it, with the kick-a-thon that continued well past the first quarter, but when the ref’s constantly blowing…
      Not sure that it’s right to say the Bulls were more physical, either. I recall seeing them regularly smashed off their own ball at the breakdown as well as the scrum. The only place the won the contact was making the tackle against a tired Brumbies attack.
      And pretty well everyone else might have said it, but honestly, would anyone here care if it was said a thousand times? Seeing a Yellow Card issued at scrum time to a team being dominated by an Aussie front row? How brilliant was that?!?!?!?!?! Brilliant scrummaging from the Brums, all game long.

  • Pedro

    Not the best game but whether it they won or drew they showed that they can generate points when not playing well.

    It’s rare that an australian front row touches up a saffa scrum and perhaps rarer still to say the scrum was the aussie team’s best weapon.

    • Good points Pedro. Grinding out wins are as important as 30+ point drubbings.

      The scrum was impressive and Morne Mellet will need to go back to scrum school as receiving a yellow for a scrum problem is as embarrassing as it gets for a South African.

  • Lewis

    Surely the Brumbies pack must be making Robbie Deans sit up and notice. I hope he selects for the Lions tour based on form, and the Brumbies dominate the forwards. I’m a Tahs fan, but if we want any chance of bullying the Lions, the incumbents must not be selected unless their form warrants it. Good job Brumbies, all the best for the season.

    • Steve O

      Agree Lewis but the reds got one over the bulls last week and I don’t consider them to have a high quality scrum. It was the same round the Stormers had a dominent scrum against the Brumbies. Definitely Moore first picked in the front row!!!

  • younggun

    Funny how Frans Ludeke is having a whine about the final decision. Was only a year ago that the brumbies were robbed of a win over the bulls because the ref didnt see Morne’s knock on. Short memories.

    • Redsfan1

      Yes I do recall that. That was a total farce. It seems Kiwis & Saffas just can’t accept losing to an Aussie team at the death. Their perceptions of our teams as the weakest mean they are outraged to lose. Despite the gloom I think the Aussie teams are looking better this year. They have shown great attack at the breakdown & toughness to grind out wins. I’m optimistic on our scrum with performances like that from the Brumbies front row. Lions will be fools to think it will be easy up front!

    • To be fair he was answering a question directed at him about it, but he did also say that they made too many errors and their scrum wasn’t up to it on the day, so he wasn’t blaming that one decision on the loss.

      Also, the 2nd last play the assistant ref called the Brumbies offside on the right side of the ruck but the referee said he was fine with it because the half back had his hands on the ball.

  • skip

    maybe I am a bit weird (ok, I am) but I quite enjoyed this game. It was a real pleasure to see an Australian side playing the street-wise rugby we are known for, not the dumb rugby the national team has produced for the last couple of years from time to time. George Smith always making a pain of himself for instance & actually some sort of game plan.

    For me, (as a former back who has made the internet’s best regarded Campo highlights package), watching the Bulls scrum get pulverised was as good as a try each time. I would rather beat the Lions by something divisible by three than loose 34-33 and score 5 tries.

    I also thought Henry Speight was great. Bam Pocock tweeted at some stage that his work around the tackle area was great and in my novice opinion, Joe Tomane was always a nuisance at the tackle as well. Be an interesting selection meeting for the wallaby back line and at the moment the only amigo I can see doing much to advance his claim his QC (of whom I have been critical but am pleased to see him going better). Granted, I have not watched the Rebels much this year..

    If I may conclude with one further comment. I am pleased Rod Kafer stood up to Phil Kearns during commentary and challenged his statement that the new interpretations of a player having to roll away properly as being called “McCaw’s Law”. Quite where Kearns got this ridiculous idea that Sir Richie would ever consistently stretch the laws to ensure the opposition never gets clean ball is beyond me and I remain convinced the great man was in fact instrumental in having the IRB re-introduce this emphasis in the game after not paying due attention to it since about a week before his own test debut. Sir Richie’s own work to ensure that a game is never blighted by dark arts at the break down again is under-appreciated and I applaud Rod Kafer’s brave efforts to point this out to wider audience. Mr Kearns, like all those who critique McCaw’s play in such unfriendly terms, can no doubt look forward to constructive & reasoned discussion on his next trip to NZ where civility will doubtless reign.

  • John Shailer

    Cracker game. Ref was a disgrace! – most of the technical penalties went against the Bulls. Still they didn’t play well enough to take the ref out of the equation. Brumbies look the real thing – clinical, well-drilled, disciplined. Scott Sio a real find – Oosthuizen will be good – Robbie Coleman big game. Jake White the next Wallaby coach!

ACT Brumbies

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

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