Super Rugby

Brumbies batter beleaguered Sunwolves




The Brumbies battered a beleaguered Sunwolves 33-0 at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

The Brumbies scored five tries and kept a clean sheet for the first time in four years as they rolled over their sorry opponents.

Henry Speight grabbed a first-half brace after two devastating deep counter-attacks inside the Brumbies’ 22.

Joe Powell, Tom Banks and Man-of-the-Match Pete Samu also crossed as the Brumbies racked up another impressive win.

Powell, Banks and Samu all played a part in the five tries the clinical Australians scored.

The golden-locked halfback was immense.

He made an early try-saving tackle to deny Gerhard van den Heever, scored his side’s second, and he had a hand in Speight’s second.

The Sunwolves were nilled by the Highlanders last month, and it happened again for the second time in three games.

Dan McKellar’s charges were not their best, but they took their chances against a Sunwolves team that started Hayden Parker on the bench.

The Sunwolves managed to negate the opposition’s driving maul and Folau Fainga’a, but not the Brumbies’ kicking game.

Where the home team kept the ball in play, waiting for possession from a wayward Sunwolves’ kick, the visitors were wasteful.

Tony Brown’s men were calamity where the Brumbies were clinical on counters, scoring from three such attacks.

They gave away possession meekly, allowing their hosts to attack, and that proved fatal.

One such play that summoned up the ineptitude of the men from Tokyo came five minutes from time.

Jason Emery kicked a grubber for lock Mark Abbott straight out over the in-goal area from five metres out.

How he thought that was a good idea, nobody will ever know. Abbott was never going to beat two backs.

Sloppy Sunwolves made to pay

An elementary mistake by the Van den Heever set the tone for the rest of the contest

Van den Heever’s sloppy finish in the third-minute proved costly.

It was weak from the wing, who was careless with his finish under pressure from Powell.

Powell’s tackle pushed the winger’s foot into touch before he dotted down.

Van Den Heever took to long to score, if he had slid in before the line instead of running over it and trying to slide, he would have scored.

Super Rugby Video Highlights: Brumbies versus Sunwolves, Round 13, GIO Stadium, Canberra

The Brumbies had scored 24 first-half tries in Super Rugby 2019 before today, more than any other team in the competition, and they added to that statistic with three more in the opening stanza.

McKellar’s men played the percentages, keeping the ball in play and making the Sunwolves kick to touch.

They kicked from every phase inside their half in the opening quarter except when they counter-attacked from their 22.

Brumbies bring the heat with three-minute blitz

Both attacks led to tries as the Sunwolves were caught napping.

Henry Speight raced away, in the 13th-minute, after a counter-attack, and a lot of kicking.

Folau Fainga’a and Pete Samu combined to send the ball wide to Speight.

The winger charged forward and played a one-two with Tevita Kuridrani before strolling in for his third try in four games against the Japanse, and his first try in five games at GIO Stadium.

It was two in three minutes when Powell finished another deep counter-attack.

Banks won the turnover inside his 22 and started a counter. Powell played Tom Cusack.

Kuridrani was involved again, breaking forward to the halfway line, pointing to where he wanted Powell to be before drawing the final man and sending the scrumhalf away.

It was a hammer blow when Speight dotted down in the corner before the half-hour.

The Sunwolves forwards had been superb, stopping the wrecking machine that is the Brumbies’ maul.

Twice they kept the home side out, stopping Fainga’a from increasing his season-high try-scoring tally.

Powell sent the ball to his halfback partner Christian Lealiifano, who floated a long pass to the sideline for Speight, who made a beeline for the corner flag.

Lealiifano missed from wide, but his side had a commanding 19-point halftime lead.

Brumbies continue to dominate after the break

Dan Pryor made a try-saving tackle on Cusack after the forwards stopped another rolling maul.

The Sunwolves’ skipper came from the side Cusack, diving to strip the ball out of the flank’s hands as he dived for the try-line.

It did not take long, though, for the Australians to score.

On 52 minutes, Speight ran a perfect line from behind a scrum, taking Simone’s well-timed pass, and racing into the opposition’s 22 before sending Banks away in the corner.

Lealiifano slotted the touchline conversion: Game over.

Brown could not have been happy, his side butchered a 13-phase attack with a poor pass and knocked on inside the Brumbies’ 22.

His forwards conceded a scrum-penalty from the next play, allowing the Australians an easy exit, releasing the pressure.

Brumbies hold firm before running away

Following the 13-phase attack, the Brown’s side went eight-phases inside the Brumbies 22 before Yu Tamura – who was poor – threw an intercept that led to the next five-pointer.

Samu picked up another loose ball from a Sunwolves’ error in midfield and raced away to score in the corner.

It was gut-wrenching for the visitors’ who were terrible in the red zone, but nothing more then they deserved for all their unforced errors and blunt attack.

The Sunwolves managed to keep the opposition out for the remainder.

The tourists were not without their chances.

Emery’s kick was a low point, but not scoring after two sustained periods of pressure in the red zone, and a knock on with the whitewash at their mercy was all low-points.

More to follow…

Final Score: Brumbies 33 (19) Sunwolves 0 (0)


Tries – Speight (2), Powell, Banks, Samu
Pen –
Con – Lealiifano (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries –
Pen –
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 2: Graham Cooper
TMO: George Ayoub



15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Connal Mcinerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Tom Wright, 23 Andy Muirhead.


15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard Van Den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Jason Emery, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.

Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Conan O’Donnell, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Tom Rowe, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Ben Gunter, 22 Jamie Booth, 23 Hayden Parker.

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