Too many Brumbies, not enough Chiefs - Green and Gold Rugby
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Too many Brumbies, not enough Chiefs

Too many Brumbies, not enough Chiefs

The Brumbies have opened their 2019 account in emphatic fashion with a dominant 54-17 win over the Chiefs. Doubles to Chance Peni and Tevita Kuridrani and four other try scorers for eight in total spread across the team setup their first win over the Chiefs since 2014. The Brumbies scrum was impressive against a strong pack and it laid the platform alongside the trusty rolling maul to clock up the tries tonight.

The Match

It wasn’t a great start for the Brumbies after conceding a penalty goal to Damian McKenzie in the opening minute after their exit play didn’t go to plan.

After that shaky start, the Brumbies worked their way into the game with glimpses of the expansive attacking game plan that they have being trying to implement under Dan McKellar.

Rory Arnold went close to scoring after attempting to place the ball against the base of the post but was knocked back by the TMO. But it would only be two more minutes for Tevita Kuridrani to continue his impressive form and score the opener for a 7-3 lead.

Minutes later Tom Banks sliced through the Chiefs defensive line off a short ball from Lealiifano and left three defenders in his wake from 45 metres out to score a brilliant try and with Lealiifano’s conversion, the Brumbies were up 14-3.

The Chiefs attempted to close the gap with some limited field position, but McKenzie missed the shot at goal from a handy position with the Brumbies exit play again under pressure.

The Chiefs defensive line had been attempting to rush up in the Brumbies faces but it came unstuck for them as Lealiifano found a gap and found Chance Peni, who was in for the injured Toni Pulu, and he found the line in the left corner and get the crowd on their feet with a 21-3 scoreline within 25 minutes.

The Chiefs are a side that will never give in easily and on the back of two penalties in the Brumbies 22 they found space on the right wing for their opening try to Ataata Moeakiola.

But the Brumbies first half dominance continued with two more tries before the break. Lachlan McCaffrey, who had been impressive all night, scored off the back of a five metre scrum and then right on half time, the Brumbies went to their trusty rolling maul and Folau Fainga’a made it 33-10 and the Brumbies most points in the first half since the 2004 final.

Embed from Getty Images

The Chiefs understandably came out firing in the second half with the contact in collision ramped up a few notches, no doubt with the words of coach Colin Cooper still ringing in their ears.

They did enjoy the better of the field position but couldn’t take advantage with a knock on and forward passes stunting their progress in key positions and soon found themselves back under the posts as the Brumbies went coast-to-coast down the right wing with Lealiifano setting up Muirhead and eventually the ball found Peni for his second try of the game to make the margin 30 points.

Just before the 60-minute mark the Chiefs did score another try to close the gap to replacement hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho but it wasn’t enough to put a scare through the Brumbies as they scored another to Josh Mann-Rea with ten minutes to go.

There would be more points with Kuridrani bagging his double to complete the 37 point win and the most points scored for the Brumbies since the 2016 season.



The Game Changer

The Chiefs scored in the opening minute, then it was all she wrote from there as the Brumbies ran wild to complete the 54-17 rout.


The G&GR MOTM

Plenty to choose from in this impressive display, but the nod goes to Christian Lealiifano in a blanket finish from numerous team mates.


Wallaby Watch

Plenty of players put their names forward tonight after that win with Tevita Kuridrani continuing his form and the try from Tom Banks should have Cheika considering using him off the bench with his electric pace.


The Details

Score & Scorers

BRUMBIES 54
Tries: Kuridrani 2, Peni 2, Banks, McCaffrey, Fainga’a, Mann-Rea
Conversions: Leaiifano 5, Hawera 2
Penalties:
CHIEFS 17
Tries: Moeakiola, Taukei’aho
Conversions: McKenzie 2
Penalties: McKenzie

Cards

Nil

  • Mike Thompson

    Lealiifano!! What an effective player.

    • Geoffro

      Sensational stuff from a guy who has been through a lot with some ill timed injuries and serious illness

  • Cameron Rivett

    This is way more like it. Maybe they were rattled by the early loss of Pocock and Pulu last week, but this week they were astonishing on defence and could score tries from every position rather than just the tight five. Lealiifano had his best game in years, and Banks showed exactly why he is the best attacking back in Australia right now.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Folou beat more players in his efforts in those games! Considering the way the Brummbies playmakers were so silky smooth I think we often forget how much work Folou does to do what he does! For me it’s EASILY still Folou at FB with Banks a very strong contention for a bench spot or starting winger because of his speed.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I think Folau’s deficiencies in his game; poor distribution, poor positioning, lack of kicking etc point him to a 14 rather than a 15 jersey.

  • Hoss

    Does Amazon sell wooden spoons? After watching the first two rounds of Oz teams I was thinking I’d get one on special now and have it engraved ‘Waratah’s’ – will save time later in the year.

    • Geoffro

      Be interesting to see how a Wallaby squad full of Tah’s gets justified after they hoist that spoon.

    • Happyman

      Mate as I said last week one game does not make a season. However based on what we have seen so far I would be worried if I were a Tahs fan. If they are like this after another three games I would be worried.
      You have the bye next week then the Reds after we have the crusaders so that game will be for the spoon in the conference IMHO.

    • Ed

      You could have a cracker of a match in Newcastle now Hoss. Imagine if the Moondogs pick their top side? Gibson will have to pick his top side for your match, considering he has the Reds, Saders and Brums beforehand.

      • Hoss

        The Butlers and the Hoss’ will need self-medicating prior to numb our senses.

  • Bobas

    Wallaby watch, CLL put his hand up to play inside Foley for a one off test prior to the World Cup.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      What at 9?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold Bobas!

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Great review! The only issue with your analysis is that Tom Banks should start for the Wallabies either on the wing or preferably at fullback.

    That was a fantastic match. And if we can produce more rugby like that hopefully the fans will come back.

    If Wallaby selection were based on that performance alone, the Brumbies would have a lot of Wallabies in the 23.

    I hope we see Lealiifano competing with Quade for the 10 jersey, with the other on the bench.

    It was like waking up and finding it was 2004. What beautiful rugby from the Brumbies…

    • Pedro

      A pacy fullback that can kick? we don’t play those.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        We have two selectors with brains now, up against an unmovable force. It’ll be interesting to see who wins that argument.

        • Cameron Rivett

          Don’t get your hopes up too high – he said wrt Quade Cooper “At Test level though you can’t be throwing blind passes. You can’t be taking risks at the line.” This is of course a totally untrue thing to say. In fact, every playmaker should to be at the line in order to create, so that they’re challenging defenders and open holes with their positioning and their passes.

          Of course, it can’t be much worse than Cheika on his own. I was flabbergasted when only 6 Brumbies (IIRC) made it into the 30+ man squad after the Super Rugby season.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Could just be keeping his cards close to his chest. That’s what I would have done if I were him, although I would have phrased it somewhat differently.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s the real issue isn’t it

      • Brisneyland Local

        Tip of the hat Pedro. Tip of the Hat!

    • Yeah, a bit harsh on my part.

      Shame for Folau to miss the 23…

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Oh, Folau would still be there, on the wing!

  • Pedro

    Great write up Steve.

    The most refreshing sight for me was seeing an australian scrum and lineout struggle early and then come back to dominate the rest of the match. Everyone for the brums played well, they were truly playing fearless footy and kept their foot on the throat right up until the final whistle.

  • Pedro

    I liked the way bobas said it better.

  • Big Ted

    Rory Arnold smoked the Centurion also which was a highlight.

    • Mica

      Yep, Arnold had a fantastic game

  • Bobas
  • Steve

    I look forward to Tom Banks being ignored by Cheika again this year, he was electrifying in the position last year.

    • laurence king

      Two new selectors, and Banks and co. keep playing like this, Cheika will not be able to come up with any argument, let alone a rational one to continue picking his favourites.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Sadly, I read a quote by O’Connor where he essentially said ‘we will have conversations with Michael, but at the end of the day he is the coach and will get the team he wants.’

        I hope it is just politics. Or else we may see the nightmarish return of Foley at 12.

        • laurence king

          Foley and Beale still will have to present some sort of a case for their continued selection, as will Hannigan and Hooper. Folau apart, none of them presented anything of substance.

        • Brumby Runner

          Their best case has always been that they play for the Tahs. That hasn’t changed.

        • laurence king

          But they won the conference last year. I suspect that they or the Sunwolves will be propping it up this season and being a Tah may not be the advantage that it once was

        • Brumby Runner

          LK they won the conference in 2018 mostly by default. The Rebels led for most of the year but inexperience cost them at the end. And the Brumbies finished the year as the form Aussie side but had taken too long to get the hang of McKellar’s game plan. Had they gelled just one or two games earlier, they would have displaced the Tahs in the finals.

        • laurence king

          I’d agree with that. But it gave Cheika the opportunity to pick Hannigan, Beale Foley etc. He won’t have that opportunity this year. Tahs don’t have anything this year to fear, besides Folau

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He picked them all when they came third last new in the comp in 2017 though.

          But I agree he’s under pressure not to pick them in a way he wasn’t back then. The tide of public opinion has turned against him and his 2014 Waratah boys.

        • John Tynan

          Hopefully it was short hand for “Michael will explain the type of game he wants to play, and we’ll help with candidates we believe can execute his game plan based on form, fitness and ability. Then at the end of the day, he will get the team he needs.”

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We can only hope aye.

          Although sadly that means we’re still stuck with his shitty game plan.

      • Singapore Sling

        I wish Aunty Fester would force the selectors to hand over the minutes of their meetings and then post on the RA website.

  • Huw Tindall

    That’s the best I’ve felt as an Aussie rugby fan in years. The Brumbies just won every part of the game – scrum, kicking, lineout, ruck, gain line etc. Such a great all round display and not just rolling maul tries.

    Lealiifano looks to have found an extra yard of pace and is the form 10 IMO. That was a superior performance to QC last week and Spanners is all over the shop right now so if picked today I’d slot him in at 10.

    Finally the Brumbies pack lived up their billing. I had them down as the best Aussie pack going into the season but was doubting that after the Rebels game. On this performance they are back up there in my eyes. Sure Reds got a beastly scrum all round the Brumbies are better and not bad in the scrum either.

    All this and no Poey. Such dominant display you didn’t notice he wasn’t there.

    • laurence king

      I’m looking forward to the Brumbies/Reds confrontation. The forward confrontation should be a cracker.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’m also looking forward to seeing Tevita vs Petaia.

  • adastra32

    Brumbies played well, but man that was an embarrassing display from the Chiefs.

  • Gottsy

    This makes my heart happy.

  • Bixbyvegas

    Just remember there has been a pretty electric Vikings squad in NRC for a few years. Lots of good combos formed at that level now on show.

  • dsb

    Massive game great to watch. A lot of good Wallaby contenders in Rebels, Reds and Brumbies!

    • laurence king

      This was a pleasure to watch, enjoyed the Reds game the other night and now this. The Tahs game was horrible. Hectic, ineffectual and like watching the grand-kiddies on sugar. More games like this one from the Brumbies, Reds and Rebels and Cheika will no longer be able to defend the indefensible in terms to his weird selections

  • Brumby Runner

    After reading the comments and the report, what’s left to say? It was an all round performance by the Brumbies that holds out a lot of hope and confidence for the year, including for the Wallabies at WC. Of course, form will need to be maintained and the Wallabies’ squad picked on that form. But right now, there would be plenty of players from the Brumbies, Rebels and Reds in contention, and possibly none from the Tahs.

    CLL a worthy man of the match. Played as flat to the line as Quade, but a little more effectively last night. And I agree with the comment that Rory Arnold got the best of Retallick. His mauling is so effective in both attack and defense that he should be a Wallaby starter just for that aspect of his game. But he is also consistently one of the best lineout operators as well.

    • Andy

      Simone is another Brumbies Masterclass in player development. He was shite at the tahs. Looks a different player.

      • Brumby Runner

        Allowed to play his own game, maybe even encouraged by McKellar. How many other coaches would keep him in the side after the grubber try to Maddocks last week?

      • Mart

        yeah that clearing kick the other week though

        • Andy

          Yep. 1 bad error. Look at the rest of his game.

          Takes it to the line, seems to have a solid passing game, good back up play on the break and his touch finder is very decent.

          Didn’t see any of that at the Tahs

    • Ed

      Rory’s problem is his lack of consistency. He was poor against the Rebels the week before.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    If that happens then bang on. Foley is average and getting worse at 10 but he is a shit 12

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Not really sure wat your on about. Foley has actually been and is a better 12. His straight running lines and more limited play making suit him more at 12. Playing Cooper or Christian at 10 does not mean however that FOLEY is our 12. In fact by FINALLY having a real PLAYMAKER at 10, having a secondary PLAYMAKER at 12 is redundant and we should be playing one of our world class blockbusting centres we have…..

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        He has been atrocious 12. I would say that he was purposefully trying to sabotage those other players tried at 10, but I just think he flat out isn’t capable playing there. It isn’t even like a fish out of water. A fish in outer space is a more accurate analogy.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Must have been a long time ago mate. I admit my experience of seeing him at 12 are outside QC and Beale and he was shit then. TBH I don’t think he’s that good anyway so maybe I’m biased

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Lol now that’s funny. But sad because it totally would happen….again

  • Miss Rugby

    Wow, really wasn’t expecting that when I took my seat last night, I don’t get to many games any more cos of work but took my chances on this one and was pretty sure I’d regret it. But the Brumbies were outstanding.
    The thing I found really uplifting was the mood of the players after the game. Every player I met was beaming. It looked like it was more than just a happy to have won attitude – they said they enjoyed actually playing that game, not just the winning. Totally understandable, when you play that well it is fun to play. But it was really good to see that them that jovial, it was a great night for the fans to be able to get on the field with them.
    I read somewhere that they had a pshchologist talk with them during the week – I wonder how big an effect that had on the way they played?

    • Brumby Runner

      Not only last week, but apparently added to the coaching staff for the season. Long may last night’s attitude and form last.

  • Brisneyland Local

    WOW GAGR’s. What a dominant, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable game to watch. It was just wonderful to really be positive and enjoy rugby again. The icing on the cake was we dominated a Kiwi team.
    We are now seeing a surge in players pushing their case for national selection.
    Pity they wont be considered by the Ass clown though.
    – CLL looked totally at ease. So now between he and QC we have 2 10’s pushing hard for the slot.
    – THe Ponies looked dominant at the scrum and the break down which is great.. So some more players pushing hard for the front 2 rows.
    – The backs between TK and Banks looked great. Infact Banks really did look the money (get it?). BL Made a funny!
    – I am struggling to see where the whole Wallas squad isnt made up of Rebs, Ponies and that Reds scrum. Other than KHunt, I cant see a single Tah pushing for selection.

    • Happyman

      Tahs have the the bye next week followed by the Reds. Based on the scrum performance the Reds might just knock on to scrum.
      Reds have the Crusaders next so they will probably by 0 and 2 going into that game.

      • Brisneyland Local

        And have een more of a point to prove. The Tahs will seem like easy beats after their forst two games.

        • Happyman

          I really hope they are easy beats. Based on the scrum it could be a long day for the Tahs.
          Reds should be playing the Saders at 3 pm in about 35 degrees. Not early evening.

        • Brisneyland Local

          “we’ll take the scrum thanks Sir!”

      • laurence king

        I think the Tahs will get bashed in the scrum and if Folau is contained then I don’t see a good future for them. Kepu has looked tired to me over the past 12 months, which is what you’d expect when he has lightweights in the backrow. Their game yesterday was the Wallabies game plan of last year, frenetic, hectic and side to side and the only danger man was Folau. Just beating the Sunwolves is about their level. They miss Taqele and Hegarty and there are no saviours on the horizon I’m afraid

        • John Tynan

          Kepu getting into all sorts of niggly crap around the breakdown too, poor signs for me when you are doing that.

      • Brumby Runner

        Not so sure H’man. Cru had a hard job getting on top of the worst Hurricanes outfit ever put together in Super Rugby, and that with the customary help from the officials.

        I don’t think the gap between NZ and Aus is such a factor this year. Reds will give a good account of themselves based on the showing (their first for the year) against the Landers.

        • John Tynan

          “Hard job”?

        • Happyman

          BR the facts are the Crusaders are better than my mighty Reds. Having said that each game starts at nil all and the reason you play it is to find out who is better on the day.

          I still remember how we were screwed over the last time they visited with a shit pen after full time to win it. Fuck I was raging after that game.

    • Mike Thompson

      Really enjoyed watching CLL ply his trade so expertly. Plenty of simple stuff done well, and then BAMB something really good, executed perfectly. That inside pass to Banks was perfect in difficult circumstances (players in the way). The only blemish was the quality of the Brumbies exits which kinida falls to him and his assertiveness in organisation.

      Talking of 10s, I’m slightly surprised that there’s been so little talk about the performance of Hamish Stewart the other night. I thought he was impressive in a quiet, understated way. He just calmly went about distributing the ball very precisely, making good simple choices. He was good/active in defense, and he took on the line a few times (not much yield, but he kept the closer defense from drifting) but his distribution was just sooo steady and precise. I thought it was a thoroughly professional display which would have provided the kind of reliable framework in which everyone, especially outside backs, can do the best attacking work. And he’s got plenty of talent to grow in to, plus he looks to be coachable, and he has Jim McKay available to do exactly that.

      So, my fearless prediction … by the end of the season, he will look the best 10 in Australia, young though he is. Just saying.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think in time he will develop well. End of this season may be optimistic. But he is probably the future 10 post world cup.

      • Brumby Runner

        He is many miles and about 15 years behind both QC and CLL. He’s got Buckleys of being the best anytime this year.

      • John Tynan

        I thought Hegarty had more impact in playmaker for the Reds, but they were both guilty of absolutely standing still when receiving the ball for about 95% of their touches.

    • Twoilms

      Dempsey has a shot at the 6 or 8 Jersey i’d say. Kepu will definitely be in the squad as well, if just for his experience. Not convinced hes a better option than 7A’s and Tupou though. And Folau, obviously.

      • Brumby Runner

        Kepu’s presence last year came about by redefining himself as a LHP to back up Sio, and he did that good. But with Slipper in the mix this year, he will find it harder to keep his spot.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep Folau on the wing for me. But fuck he needs to learn to pass properly.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate Hunt shouldn’t make 12 with both Meakes and Kerevi outshining him there. At best he’s a bench option but I think there are better. Yes he runs hard and when in position he can tackle but that’s all he’s got and the others have more.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think he is the backs super sub. He can pretty much play those positions and bring him on in the last 30. He is still quick, and is defending well. Potentially a good impact player. If needs be and there is an early injury has the gas to cover the rest of the game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not so sure on the defence. I think he lacks a decent rugby instinct and so needs someone to guide him. This is why he gets out of position at times. Runs hard and straight which is great but needs to work on his distribution

        • Brisneyland Local

          Unfortunately in the Tahs we wont get that guidance. Would be great to have him at the Rebs too! ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I think QC would be good for him in a way that Foley never will be

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well they did have that in the early days at the Reds. And they played well together.

    • Bobas

      Now that we are slowly getting back to victories to smile about we should get back to pairing victories with booze.

      That brumby one was like a pint of double ipa at a bar that charges the same amount for a pint of carlton.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very true. And washed down with a Double Laphroaig on the rocks!

        • Mica

          Quarter Cask :) or Lagavulin……
          No rocks too – just go to a cold climate and crank up a fire.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I love the 16yo Lagavulin.
          BUt living up in Qld one must have rocks.

  • Andy

    Great performance. No one had a bad game.

  • Gipetto

    I fear O’Connor couldn’t coach a choko vine up a fence and Coach Clown is a proven failure; but I am still hopeful that Lilo starts as Wallaby #10 based on his brilliant form… ( On the understanding that QC has been informally banned for life)

    • John Tynan

      Luckily O’Connor doesn’t have to coach then?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Steve. My first reaction is “where the fuck did that come from?” That was such a good game, yeah the Chiefs were poor but by hell the Brumbies were good. Triple L really stepped up and took control and the sheer determination, speed and hunger were just great. I hope they can keep this up because if they do they’ll really challenge the Rebels for the competition.

    Great to see and while I hate watching a NZ team lose they absolutely deserved this

  • Nutta

    Many thanks Steve

    Great win. Fantastic to see.

    For me:
    > Good to see K’drani form continue. Christ knows we need him.
    > McCafe continues to push for the Wobbly No8 in my opinion. Hard graft and good linking not seen at our No8 level since Smith. That pushes Dempsey to No6 (in my opinion) and thus Cheks has problems as Hannigan is goneski at that point and a call must be made on Pooper. Interesting times…
    > The tussle between Slipper and Sio is going to be immense for the Wobbly1. And with Keps attracting the penalties as he is, 7xA’s looks the goods.
    > Who is this guy Lealiifano? Where has he been?
    > Banks does seem ‘the goods’ doesn’t he?

  • Gallagher

    Woooah Mumma! Three strong Super teams with international class players fighting it out to be top dog, in almost every position except ‘maybe’ 9 (that’s Genia’s) and 6/8 (assuming Pocock is picked at 7) that are fighting to be a Wallaby in a World Cup year… cmon!

  • Mart

    How good was this to watch. Aussie team absolutely towelling a Kiwi team and not taking the foot of the gas

  • Mica

    Was anyone else confused by Gardner’s explanation of the scrum penalty against the Brumbies where he said that both props need to go forward first. I always thought this was you couldn’t whip wheel the scrum so as long as your tight head holds position if the loose head pushes forward and the scrum wheels as a consequence this is just tight head and opp loose head even and loose head dominant against opp tighthead (hookers not withstanding).
    This was my read on the scrum and the Brumbies were penalised.
    Comments/thoughts??

ACT Brumbies
@steve_l15

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

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