Brumbies to host Super Rugby AU final?
The Brumbies look poised to host the Super Rugby AU final after they wrapped up a masterful bonus point win against the Waratahs on Saturday.
However on the flip side of that coin the loss for the Waratah’s puts their season on a knife edge with everything coming down to their game against the Melbourne Rebels next weekend. It’s make or break time for them in their race to make the playoffs.
In the match on Saturday the Brumbies ran in 4 tries in the second half without answer as they cantered past their opposition 38 – 11 seemingly enroute to a home final.
On Friday night the Reds ran the Western Force ragged in their massive 57 – 5 victory which catapulted them to the top of the competition temporarily until the Brumbies took the lead again with their win over the ‘Tahs.
The Brumbies play the Force next Friday, who have yet to break their duck in this competition and register a win. A win for the Brumbies would automatically advance them to a home final and although one would assume this game should be a shoe-in for the them, rugby remains a funny old game with many a bizarre result.
In the next round of the competition it’s the Reds that have a rest weekend and then come up against the Waratahs in their final match of the season. This gives both teams one last throw of the dice to ensure their participation in the knockout rounds.
Brumbies at this stage sit clear at the top of the table with 23 points, Reds are just 2 points adrift on 21 with the Waratahs closing out the top 3 on 15 points. However the Rebels are not out of the competition yet. They sit just one point back on 14 points and a slip up by the Waratahs next weekend could see the boys from Melbourne leapfrog the ‘Tahs right into the play-offs
Rob Simmons (Waratahs Captain) who was bitterly disappointed with his teams second-half performance after only trailing the Brumbies by a single point, 11-12, at half time is confident they can step up and take the Rebels in their upcoming fixture at the Leichhardt Oval next Saturday.
“I’m very confident – we have to, playing the Rebels it’s going to be must-win,” Simmons said.
“It’s our last chance to get points on the board.”
The ‘Tahs lost five of their own lineouts and Simmons felt these mistakes gifted the Brumbies
“It’s a strength and can usually get us into a game but it wasn’t there … and they scored off our turnovers.
“As the pressure built we didn’t lift to that occasion.”
On the other hand Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was thrilled to see how well his charges bounced back from their first and only loss in the competition to Melbourne the weekend before their bye.
While the Brumbies score a lot of forwards tries, in particular off the rolling maul, they proved to their fans that they’re certainly not a one trick pony with none of their tries coming from that particular strength this last weekend.
“We were under pressure, conceding that try just before halftime and I thought our second half was excellent,” McKellar said.
“We put them under pressure and forced them to play out of their end, chasing the game, and in those conditions it’s pretty tough.
“That performance comes off the back of our preparation – we had an excellent week after the Rebels game so I’m pleased.”
SUPER RUGBY AU SCENARIOS
Brumbies – currently 23 points – best 33
Queensland Reds – 21, best 26
NSW Waratahs – 15, best 20
Melbourne Rebels – 14 – best 24
Western Force – 2 – best 10