VIDEO: Brumbies outclass lackluster Sharks
MATCH REPORT: The Brumbies were just too clinical for the Sharks during their quarterfinal clash in Canberra on Saturday.
The Brumbies are into their first Super Rugby semi-final in four years after dispatching the Sharks 38-13.
It marked the first time the Brumbies have won seven straight games in a season and they’ll now travel to Argentina and face the Jaguares for a spot in the final.
The Brumbies could host their first decider since 2004 if the Hurricanes beat the Crusaders next Saturday, but first, they must overcome the gruelling trip to South America.
The Australian conference winners have won nine of their last 10 games and the red-hot form continued in freezing conditions against the Sharks as they scored three superb first-half tries.
It laid the platform for victory as the Sharks came into the game in the second half but the home side’s defence was resolute in front of 11,112 fans.
“I’m really proud of the boys. The Sharks threw a lot at us and the way the boys kept digging deep for each other was special,” said Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano.
“The forwards have been amazing all year, they were challenged again tonight and stepped up and provided a great platform for us.
“The way these boys handle whatever is thrown at them is amazing, we have a big job ahead of us but we’ll prepare well.”
Brumbies back-rower Pete Samu scored in the first minute after receiving an inside ball from lock Rory Arnold and dashing 35 metres to cross between the posts.
Curwin Bosch then got the Sharks on the board with a 50-metre penalty, but Arnold had his second try assist on 10 minutes when he put Henry Speight into the corner for a 14-3 lead.
The teams traded penalty goals before the Sharks conceded their first rolling maul try of the season when Samu bagged a double on 24 minutes.
The Brumbies held a 24-6 lead at the break but the visitors closed the gap when Andre Esterhuizen barged through Irae Simone to score in the 56th minute.
Joe Powell iced the game when he dummied from the ruck and ran 20 metres to score in the 72nd minute while his replacement, reserve halfback Matt Lucas, finished the job with a try in the final minute.
The Jaguares are also in-form having won 10 of their last 11 games; the Brumbies most recent loss came against the Argentine side in Buenos Aires eight weeks ago.
Man of the match: Andre Esterhuizen was the only spark in the Sharks’ attack. Joe Powell was impressive in the No.9 jersey, while Tom Banks again plead his case for a Wallaby jersey. However, for his overall impressive performance, our nod goes to Brumbies Pete Samu.
Tries: Samu 2, Speight, Powell, Lucas
Cons: Lealiifano 5
Pens: Bosch 2
Brumbies: 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 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal Mcinerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith.
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)