Super Rugby

High-flying Brumbies bash woeful Waratahs




The Brumbies battered the NSW Waratahs 38-11 in with a dominant display in Round Eight Super Rugby AU at GIO Stadium, Canberra.

The Brumbies go back the top of Super Rugby AU with a convincing victory bonus-point over their arch-rivals on a freezing night in the capital.

The win is the Brumbies’ ninth in 10 versus New South Wales, and sixth on the bounce. Defeat is the 10th from their last 13 Super Rugby away games, which is dreadful.

Pete Samu and Tom Wright both grabbed a brace apiece in the six tires to one rout.

Dan McKellar made eight changes and one positional change after the bye and it worked a treat as his men rinsed the opposition.

Tries from Ryan Lonergan and Andy Muirhead gave the Brumbies a slender one-point halftime lead. Jack Dempsey pulled a try back for the Waratahs to keep the visitors in the contest.

The home team pulled away in the third quarter with three tries in quick succession to go 31-11 up.

Samu finished off a slick move before Wright scored a brace inside five minutes.

Irae Simone had a hand in two of the tries as the Brumbies killed the game as a contest.

Samu, dancing down the touchline, claimed another sensational finish to put the icing on the cake as the visitors were kept scoreless in the second half.

The Brumbies dominated the first half with two tries to nil and 70% possession as the Waratahs struggled to do anything meaningful with ball-in-hand.

The conditions dictated that the tactics from both teams would be to play for territory and use their set-pieces to exert pressure on the opposition.

The freezing conditions saw the drizzle border on sleet and both Connal McInerney and Tom Horton lost lineouts against the throw inside the first 10 minutes.

Jack Dempsey almost opened the scoring for the Waratahs, but he knocked in attempting to ground the ball.

Another lost lineout by the visitors led to Ryan Lonergan’s 15th-minute try. The halfback looked to be offside in the build-up, but TMO Ian Smith awarded the controversial try.

Lonergan, kicking at 90% in Super Rugby, converted his score to give the Brumbies a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Tom Horton partly made up for his poor lineout throwing when he won a penalty at the breakdown. It allowed Harrison to put the Waratahs on the board.

Horton lost three of his six throws in the first stanza to continue the rent of terrible throwing by Australian hookers this season.

The goal made it 30 from 33 in Super Rugby for the stand-off, which is incredible. In a tight game, you need your goal-kicker to be consistently accurate.

The Brumbies started to take control of both territory and possession, spending a lot of time inside the opposition’s half.

A big shove by the Brumbies saw the hosts opting for the attacking lineout – their banker. A third of their tries coming from their driving maul, this campaign.

But the Tahs forwards defended the weapon of mass destruction well; however, the Brumbies had another trick up their sleeve.

The maul was halted, so Lonergan had to use the ball. Muirhead collected Bayley Kuenzle’s pin-point cross-filed kick and scores in the corner.

The Sydney men managed to keep themselves in the contest with eight points 10 minutes before the interval.

Harrison doubled his team’s tally with a second penalty on the half-hour.

Rob Penney’s men managed to find something out of nothing just before the break, scoring from a slick move involving backs and forwards.

The ball, recycled quickly, was sent through the hands from right to left.

Horton, on the wing, redeemed himself, running over Muirhead and Simone before offloading around the back of Banks to Dempsey.

The No 8 slipped Lachlan McCaffrey’s weak tackle and raced along the touchline to score in the corner.

Harrison missed the touchline conversion, but the visitors only trailed by one at halftime.

Brumbies strike early in the second half with a well-worked move off an attacking lineout.

Samu, hugging the left touchline, gathered a long, looping pass by Simone, and runs in untouched to score next to the posts.

Alex Newsome could not get close to Samu, despite being quicker. Lonergan converted to make it a two-score game.

McKellar’s charges pulled away in the third quarter with two tries from Samu and Wright to open up a 31-11 lead after 58 minutes.

Samu, hugging the left touchline, gathered a long, looping pass from Simone, and ran in untouched to score next to the posts.

Newsome could not get close to him despite being quicker. Lonergan added the extras before being subbed for Nick White.

The home team scored their fourth try soon afterwards after another maul.

It was Wright scored from a terrific rolling maul. The ball was driven towards the try-line by the dominant Brumbies’ pack before being sent wide to Wright to score.

It was the third time the hosts scored from the maul, but not with their hookers, which seems to be a tactical change for this game.

Kuenzle, taking over the kicking duties, slotted the touchline conversion.

Wright had another score in the corner after a scrappy lineout. The ball got sent through the hands to Simone, who ghosted through the defenders before sending Wright away.

The drop-kicked conversion attempt hit the cross-bar and bounced back.

Despite a couple of chances camped on the Brumbies’ line, the Tahs could not manage to get over the whitewash.

Instead, it was the Brumbies who went all the way down the field after winning a penalty and booting the ball deep into the 22.

Samu, tip-toeing down the touchline almost beats two defenders to score. His boot looked to have touched the chalk, but TMO Smith awards his score.

Kuenzle, who only kicks touchline conversions, added the sideline kick

The Waratahs had their chances but were shut-out in the second stanza and go back to Sydney with their tails between their legs.

Final Score: Brumbies 38 (12) Waratahs 11 (11)


Tries – R. Lonergan, Muirhead, Samu (2), Wright (2)
Pen –
Con – R. Lonergan (2), Kuenzle (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Dempsey
Pen – Harrison (2)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1: Graham Cooper
Assistant Ref 2: Reuben Keane
TMO: Ian Smith



15 Tom Banks, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Solomone Kata, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bayley Kuenzle, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Will Miller, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Connal McInerney, 1 James Slipper

Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Rob Valetini, 21 Tom Cusack, 22 Nic White, 23 Len Ikitau


15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson

Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Angus Bell, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Lalakai Foketi

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