Brumbies top Aussie conference
MATCH REPORT: The Brumbies have gone to the top of the Australian Super Rugby conference with a 33-0 win against the Sunwolves in Canberra on Sunday.
The five-try victory marked a fifth straight win for the Brumbies at home as they overtook the Melbourne Rebels to lead the four Australian teams with five rounds remaining.
Having taken offence at perceived criticism for dull, set-piece oriented play, the Brumbies cut loose.
They scored three tries inside 30 minutes as giant centre Tevita Kuridrani ran riot in a performance that will boost his Wallabies recall chances.
“That was nice, some of our turnovers sparked Tevita and Henry [Speight] into some space and the pressure our forwards applied up front was good,” Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano said.
“We knew how unpredictable they were going to be and they’re a really good attacking side so that’s impressive keeping them to zero.
“There’s still plenty to go and in the season and we have a few conference games coming up, we just have to make sure we keep the momentum going.”
The Sunwolves crossed first when Gerhard van den Heever dived into the corner but it was called back when the TMO found the winger put a foot in touch.
After a slow opening 15 minutes, the Brumbies scored when Speight and Kuridrani combined for an 80-metre try that the former finished under the posts.
They made it two in two minutes when Kuridrani again burst off his own line and ran 60 metres before Joe Powell finished the length-of-the-field try.
The Sunwolves stopped consecutive mauls from five metres out but the Brumbies then shifted it wide and Speight scored the third on 27 minutes.
The Brumbies picked up where they left off in the second half, scoring a sensational set-piece try on 52 minutes.
Inside centre Irae Simone threw a perfectly weighted pass to Speight who pierced through the middle and put fullback Tom Banks into the corner.
Banks then made a try-saving tackle before Kuridrani broke the line again and found No. 8 Pete Samu, who ran 40 metres to score the fifth try.
Tries: Speight 2, Powell, Banks, Samu
Cons: Lealiifano 4
For Sunwolves: None
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 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.
Sunwolves: 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.
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner & Graham Cooper
TMO: George Ayoub