REVIEW: Brumbies draw with Kings - Green and Gold Rugby
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REVIEW: Brumbies draw with Kings

REVIEW: Brumbies draw with Kings

The new boys of Super Rugby rolled into Canberra to take on the Brumbies, who had made a number of changes to their starting lineup for this match. Despite winning only one game, the Kings have shown they can be competitive.

After three straight games against South African opposition, Brumbies coach Jake White mixed things with the lineup and also welcomed back Pat McCabe from a neck and hamstring injuries.

Photos c/o Tim Anger

The Match

tomane scores vs kings cropped

Tomane dots down

The Brumbies showed their intent early on with the majority of the possession and were able to convert the opening points through a Christian Lealiifano penalty goal after just five minutes.

With Robbie Deans watching on, the Brumbies were keen to convert the early territory and scored the first try through Henry Speight in the right hand corner from a nice grubber from Christian Lealiifano.

The Kings were struggling for field position and shortly after Brumbies extended their lead with scrum-half Nic White throwing a magical cut out pass for Joe Tomane to score down the left hand side.

The visitors showed they wouldn’t stand by and watch and got their first try of the night after finally getting their hands on the ball. Prop Schalk Ferreira was awarded the try via the TMO after he burrowed over from close range, and it was at this point the momentum started to swing to the visitors’ favour.

And to prove they meant business they added another on the back of a fantastic penalty kick from George Whitehead that landed only five metres out from the Brumbies’ line. From the resulting lineout, the Kings rolled a maul and flanker Wimpie van der Walt got up with the ball. The lead was cut to just two points.

The second half started with the Brumbies dominating the possession but their execution was letting them down and it only took one mistake for the Kings to pounce and score again. This time the Kings’ number 8 Cornell du Preez was the beneficiary and remarkably the Kings took the lead 21-19.

The Brumbies were able to stem the flow of Kings points and got their noses  back in front with a Lealiifano penalty as the crowd started to get very nervous.

The Kings’ defence was a real feature of their play with quick line speed, likewise their ability to hold the ball runner up off the ground and slow the Brumbies’ ball down.

They showed more of their strong defence repelling each Brumbies raid and pressuring them into errors.

The Kings then lost Schalk Ferreira to the sin bin for repeated infringements and it appeared their chances of winning went with him. They did have a chance to reduce the margin to one point but the penalty shot missed as the game came down to the wire.

Alexander - the wrong sort of game changer

Alexander – the wrong sort of game changer

The Brumbies also had their chances to put the Kings out of range but also missed shots at penalty goal and it took until the 78th minute for the Brumbies to feel at ease as Lealiifano landed another penalty, courtesy of the left upright.

But there was more to come as the Kings played well after the siren and had a series of penalties and it took a look from the TMO to give them a shot at the draw with Ben Alexander penalised for a hit on Steven Sykes after they had already won a penalty that would have won them the match. The resulting play saw Cornell du Preez dive over for his second of the night with Demetri Catrakilis stepping and landing the conversion to give the Kings a well-deserved draw and three competition points for their four tries.

The result has a huge bearing on the Australian conference, with the Brumbies gaining just two points for the draw and the Reds gaining four points with the bye.

The Game Changer

Well after the final siren the Brumbies’ Ben Alexander was penalised for an off-the-ball hit on Steven Sykes. From that the Kings dived over the line to give them a shot at a draw.


The Kings’ forwards put on a great defensive display with Wimpie van der Walt  the stand-out.

Wallaby Watch

Robbie Deans wouldn’t have seen too much to get excited about but Christian Lealiifano and Nic White performed well and Pat McCabe made a good return after a long time out.

The Details

Crowd: 12,063

Score & Scorers

Tries: Speight, Tomane
Penalties: Lealiifano 5, White

Tries: Ferriera, van der Walt, du Preez 2
Conversions: Whitehead 3, Catrakilis

Cards & citings

67 minute – Yellow card – Schalk Ferreira (Kings)

  • Where is the opportunistically alliterative headline?

    Bumbling Brumbies Bow To Kleptomaniac Kings.

    Mockery should be trans-franchise.

    • It had to be changed three times in the last five minutes because of what unfolded.

      • Tao’s headline is bloody good.

  • Wheatman01

    Gotta say I thought Brumbies were lucky to get the draw – especially the sitter the Kings #10 missed with 9 to go. First time on Australian soil and the kings gave it to the Brumbies. I was mightily impressed by the Kings #7 The Power Tool (de Walt) ! A young blend of Schalke and Juan Smith perhaps? Their Argentine halfback went very well too.
    As for the Brumbies, it really looked as though they missed Toomua. Lilo was ok at 10 but there didn’t seem to be any variety of attack. The Kings adjusted to the small kicks in behind and then it look like crash ball. Fotu & Smith played well, White was good and Tomane was the best back (but was quiet after 20mins). McCabe crashed it up every time he touched, I don’t remember him passing it once – could that have been the problem? Alexander was lucky not to be penalised at scrums for putting his hand on the ground. Brumbies scrum and lineout wasn’t as dominant, and again I wonder if it took some of the confidence out of the backs.
    As another tweeter put it, perhaps it was part of Jake White’s masterplan to keep as many Brumbs out of the Wallabies in June? I don’t know but they’d better get back to form soon!

    • Who?

      Benny A and the Kings’ LHP were both pinged for hands on the ground. I thought that was something they didn’t ping anymore..? Not just for Woodcock, but the other year it seemed like every Test scrum had a LHP’s hand on the ground at some point.

      Hate the stupid penalty for Benny A taking out the bound support player after the siren. The ball carrier was tackled pretty well simultaneously, so you could argue it was a clean out (as the Kings player on the other side did exactly the same thing with the Brums’ third tackler – came from the side to clean him out). You could even argue it’s a Flying Wedge. I hate this pre-bound pod rubbish – time for it to be penalized off the park!

      Kings definitely deserved points from that match, though. In spite of being allowed to lie all over the ball and enter (general play, not set piece) mauls from the side. Can’t blame them for a standard performance from Peyper.

      • Klaus

        Who?, I disagree and so did the Brumbies Captain who thought it was fair. He also didn’t use any arms when he took someone out which is also illegal. The Brums shut down after they scored those 2 tries I think they thought they were going to do it easy.

        • Who?

          I’m not arguing the no arms component, I’m arguing the whole concept of allowing teams to pre-bind in a wedge formation. If they’re pre-bound, you’re legally not allowed to tackle them to ground above the hips! At least that’s my read of IRB Directive 8 of 2003. You can tackle their legs, but that means you have multiple people falling on you. And those pre-bound players automatically seal off any ensuing ruck. If you tackle above the hips, it’s automatically a maul, as players from both teams are bound to the ball carrier. So, pre-binding is used effectively as a means of ending the contest for possession. And therefore, given the whole concept of Rugby is the contest for possession, it’s against the spirit of the game.

          I’d love for someone – anyone – to be able to convince me that three players pre-bound running at the D line isn’t the exact definition of the Flying Wedge… I’ve seen some supposedly senior referees argue that a Flying Wedge can only happen near the goal line off a penalty. That’s rubbish, and a misreading of the laws. If the Flying Wedge and Cavalry Charge are banned, why is any other form of pre-binding and obstruction legal?! Or, more accurately, allowed by international referees, who regularly show themselves to be short in their knowledge and application of the laws.

          And of course Mowen said it was fair – he’s not going to disagree with a ref. It’s too expensive! :D

        • mpm

          I don’t understand how a maul ends the contest for possession. Surely you “simply” attack it as a maul.

          The pod thing is fine in my book. There’s no deception or obstruction. the flying wedge law seems to be restricted to tap restarts:

          “The kicker tap-kicks the ball and starts the attack, either by driving towards the goal line or by passing to a team mate who drives forward. Immediately, team mates bind on each side of the ball carrier in a wedge formation.”

          Nothwithstanding the point on restarts, there’s some uncertainty there. I would hesitate that the normal pod is particularly tightly bound. Often they are barely holding on, and just there for the immediate cleanout.

        • Nabley

          I am not certain that they were prebound! Anyway the Cavalry Charge does not require binding, just

        • Who?

          MPM, it’s not about deception, it’s about a fair contest for the ball. If you’re pre-bound, you’re inhibiting access for defenders. Not simply by preventing them from attacking from the sides, but it also makes it much harder to wrap the arms around the ball carrier, as required by the laws of the tackle. Plus, it limits options for the tackler. I don’t think that this is an area where the attacking team needs extra rights, such as the right to effectively prevent a contestable ruck from forming, as is granted by creating a situation where a tackle above the hips forms a maul and a tackle round the legs seals off the breakdown with pre-bound players lying over the ball. I think, in the last three years, I’ve seen players in a pod pinged for sealing off ONCE. We were just lucky that Kurtley kicked that penalty in Bloemfontein.

          A maul doesn’t necessarily end the contest for possession, however in this arrangement it’s used primarily as a means of avoiding a real contest for the ball. You could argue that players making the tackle and creating the maul are able to sack the ball carrier and earn a scrum, but refs don’t play it that way, either, otherwise they’d stop calling the tackler to roll away in the breakdown, as that’s not required when it’s a maul.

          And the Flying Wedge is not purely at restarts. The law states:

          ‘Flying Wedge’. The type of attack known as a ‘Flying Wedge’ usually happens near the goal line, when the attacking team is awarded a penalty kick or free kick.

          ‘Usually’ doesn’t mean ‘can only’.

          Further, the average pod may not be tightly bound, but it’s often no more loosely bound than the average flanker or eighthman in a scrum, or the ball carrier in a maul.

          From my perspective, if it’s wrong to pre-bind in an pod or wedge in one situation, it’s wrong in any situation. Most comments by refs and high ups seem to state that it’s too hard to organize a flying wedge in general play, and that there’s not the distance between the teams in general play to build up the momentum needed to make it dangerous (as it seems most believe this was banned for being dangerous). Clearly they weren’t expecting the sort of slow, organized forward play we’re seeing today, where these pods are often well over 10m from the ruck, and an appropriate distance back, leading to huge collisions. Think about it – that penalized tackle involved about 680kg! Thinking from a different perspective, if pre-binding is allowed, is it fair to expect one defender – say, a scrummie, at 80kg – to be expected to bring down a pod of 360kg?

          I like the idea of unbound pods. It’s something that good forward packs, many of them Kiwis, have done for years. Without the slowing of the game, the overblown structure, etc. I’d rather see the ball runner have his support runners unbound, able to smash the ruck, drive the tackle (creating a maul), or receive the pop pass. It’s better Rugby, and there’s no reason why it should be considered any less safe for the attacking team. It’s also much more entertaining, and provides the opportunity for a contest for possession. It’s a man on man contest, until such time as the play breaks down, starting with a tackle. In comparison, the pod is a blight on the game.

  • Jeff

    Well done Kings. Great defense. First time I’ve seen the Brumbies this year but they’ve got nothin’ ! Lifo at standoff didn’t offer much except for some dabs with the boot. White was hot and cold. I counted 4 of his passes that went to no-one. And may be a tough call as the shield is hard to defend against but Alexander should give himself an uppercut. Got sick of the constant shots at goal by the brums. Not much creativity tonight and may pay for that loss later. The Reds look much more capable.

    • Steve O

      I’ll reserve my judgement about the Reds until after the Chiefs match, I’m bloody exited about it though!!!

  • AJ

    Am I the only one that’s pissed off at that final decision? I know pre-binding happens all the time at Super Rugby level, but that doesn’t make it anymore right in my mind. By latching on to the ball-carrier’s side, the extra man is stopping the fringe defence from laying a side-on tackle. Alexander was hard done by.

    Great defense from the Kings though, and their line-outs were surprisingly good too in my mind. Great game from Nic White – surely he must now be the second in line for the Lions tour!

    • servo

      Regardless of the ref it’s still no excuse for playing like the way they did. They were just awful tonight in defence and attack.

    • Gus

      Alexander was not hard done by when he was penalized for shoulder charging a bloke without the ball. If he uses his arms when he clears out the bound kings player there is no way the touch judge makes the report and it goes to the tmo.

      Even though the referee didn’t really make it clear what the exact infringement he penalized was (mixing up what he said at the time), it was the foul play that caused the ref to have to make the decision in the first place.

      It was honestly an incredibly stupid piece of play from one of the most experienced players in the team. Why he decided to lay an illegal hit on after the siren and with the game in the balance is beyond me…

    • Yeah, shoulder charge was the prob.

    • Bay35Pablo

      It was a dumb and unnecessary move. Deserved penalty.

  • servo

    What a horrible game from the Brumbies. So one dimensional in attack. Should’ve kicked for touch and have a crack instead of just kicking for goal. I can understand in ticking the scoreboard over but it’s becoming more of a habit to automatically kick for goal. Poor option taking and feels like they’re killing their own momentum. Where’s the “lets have a crack attitude”? Last year was about having a crack.This year to me it feels like they’re playing a more conservative game. And they’re not adjusting their tactics during the game. They’re pushing the same option when it’s not working.

    Not to take anything from the Kings they came into the game with a plan and they executed. I’m a bit worried as a Brumbies supporter. The team is going backward while the rest of the teams are about or have found form.

    • Reckon brums are tired from A. Sth Africa and B. 5 rounds of super rugby.

      • servo

        But this is a team that supposedly worked on their fitness so they could handle the long season. They’re not in a different boat compared to the Chiefs or any team. Other team that have to go through the same hardship. Look at the Bulls 4 weeks on the road and they were still competitive. Tough games against the Blues, Crusaders and Red and they still had gas toward the end when they played the Brumbies.

        Brumbies won’t be a title contender this year and the performance tonight just proves it. Will they even make it into the finals? It looks dire.

        • True. Think the Chiefs scraped through a couple of games after coming back though, if memory serves….

  • Don’t get me wrong, I like mcCabe’s energy and ability to get over the advantage line, but the resting of toomua shows what 2 play makers can do for a team. McCabe’s presence stifled the back line I reckon. Obviously errors and missed penalties didn’t help either. Oh and a very good forwards display from te kings.

    • Rex Munday

      His presence stifles the Wallaby backline as well. The Wallabies should have been running Barnes with Cooper, and now Taps with Cooper. That said, I’ll bet the farm that Deans goes with McCabe at 12.

  • Kiap

    The ponies were hit by a thunderbolt named Van der Walt.

    • Glenn Condell

      Agreed. Future bok great. Rag dolled George Smith a few times.

  • Jay-c

    Brumbies have been shit since half time v the sharks. Team seems to have a real issue with reading the press.
    Gotta say that while McCabe made meters at 12, the ball didn’t get past him and this really stifled the attack. Kings were fantastic- great d !
    Where was this much talked about leadership tonight?

    • CJT

      Gotta say I couldn’t have said it better myself. Exactly – the Brumbies switched off after scoring two tries because they are full of themselves or tired. EIther way, no excuse in this competition. Kings did play great, and the odds were unfair, but the Brumbies should not have been within striking distance. Our fefence is very, very wobbly.

  • yourmatesam

    The Brumbies passing game has been off for the past couple of weeks. They threw some shockers in this game but too often in their last two outings has the ball carrier passed behind the support runner rather than in front. The Kings played very well in this match and were unlucky not to bag a win here. I don’t agree that the game changer was Ben Alexander’s hit, the game changer was the King’s solid defence and the Brumbies inability to adapt to the game.

  • Red Kev

    McCabe played 68 minutes and did not make a single pass. Yep that’s right a no.12 who doesn’t pass the ball, ever.
    Kuridrani was almost anonymous for the first 50 minutes of the match and the reason is McCabe.
    The Brumbies’ two tries came from the playmakers ensuring McCabe got nowhere near the ball – Lealiifano put a grubber through for Speight on the wing and White put in a massive cut out to Tomane on the other wing.
    Deans won’t see it though, I can’t wait until he’s fired.

    • Surprising isn’t it, that the man who was served so well by having a Carter/Mertens – Mauger pairing for the Crus, has failed to embrace that at the Wallabies. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the best back line performance in recent wallaby history was against France with 2 play makers. I’d like to see Cheika bring Vola into the game at IC or 5/8 again too. Surely that supports his approach. Maybe not in the run on side for defensive reasons but at 50/60 min mark….

    • ArmChairCritic

      Agree 100% – have been saying it for 2 years!

    • Bay35Pablo

      Even Tom carter passes more than that …

  • Brumby runner

    Brumbies played a no loss at all costs game, similar to the Wallabies in recent years. Was it the presence of Behezelbub himself that inspired that performance? In any event, it looked so much like the Wallabies that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if more than a few played themselves into the national team.

    But from a fan’s point of view, it was an atrocious performance. There was no creativity at all in attack. Just passing the ball way behind the gain line so that the defence was easily able to get on top. We are sorely missing Jesse Mogg. It seems that he is our best attacking weapon bar none, Robbie doesn’t have the presence at 15, and although fairly solid last night, he did butcher an almost certain try by not passing the winger outside about 5 – 10 metres from the tryline on one occasion. The less said about Pat’s return the better.

    • Bay35Pablo

      So like the tahs of the last few years before cheika started de-brainwashing them?

  • zZzZ

    Can we now stop this talk about CL at 10? If Quade had made half the mistakes he made last night we’d have 3 paragraphs dedicated to ‘how bad it was’. He’s a great kid with a bright future, but the incessant posturing of posters to make him the WB 10 right now is a joke.

  • CJT

    Great effort by the Kings and it’s unfortunate that they made so many rookie errors (missing that penalty kick, kicking out on the full two times in the last 15 minutes). They deserved the win, but got 3 points so close enough.

    I have been a dedicated Brumbies fan since 2000. The way the Brumbies have gone since the second half of the Sharks game is reminiscent of their 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons. Pull off some good victories, but out of nowhere will appear to not turn up to games – before finishing just outside of the finals. The Brumbies were playing their best rugby since 2004, but the last three weeks have been pretty poor. I think they will miss the finals.

  • rebelpirate

    Its a long season…better Brumbies find out now what their deficiencies are rather than in the knock-out stage….also agree that Pat McCabe needs to add more to his game…in that game I saw a play where he could had created but instinctively went for the crash ball…I mean if Ma’a Nonu can develop his passing skills why the F@%$ can’t our aussie backs do the same thing?

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