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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Brumbies bounce back to winning ways against Waratahs and reclaim Super Rugby AU lead

The clinical side reinforced their title credentials on a freezing Canberra night.

A CLINICAL ACT Brumbies reinforced their title credentials with an impressive 38-11 hammering of the NSW Waratahs to reclaim the lead at the top of the Super Rugby AU ladder.

super-rugby-brumbies-waratahs Contrasting emotions: The Brumbies celebrate after scoring a try. Source: AAP/PA Images

After an upset loss to the Melbourne Rebels in their last outing, wholesale changes were made and Allan Alaalatoa’s new-look side made certain it didn’t happen again on a freezing Canberra night.

They went to the break 12-11 ahead then put their foot to the floor in a six-tries-to-one bonus-point victory. Pete Samu and Tom Wright bagged braces with Ryan Lonergan and Andy Muirhead also dotting down.

“The ‘Tahs came out hard in the first half, which is what we expected, but the way we came out in the second half was a huge effort,” said skipper Alaalatoa. “It was definitely an improvement from our last game.”

It was their ninth win from 10 against the ‘Tahs and their sixth on the bounce, vaulting them back to the top of the five-team ladder, after they were briefly unseated on Friday when the Queensland Reds thrashed Western Force 57-5.

The win gives them a two-point cushion from the Reds with two rounds left. The Waratahs stay third, a point clear of the Rebels.

The top-placed finisher goes straight to the season finale, with those in second and third playing off for the right to meet them.

Defeat was a tough pill to swallow for the Waratahs, who came into the game full of confidence on the back of two wins.

“We gave too many penalties away and the Brumbies, when they are in the attacking half, they are going to come at you all day,” said captain Rob Simmons. “We were there in the first half, but when you give away so many penalties your heads start dropping.”

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Source: SUPER RUGBY/YouTube

They started strongly, but it was the Brumbies who controversially took the lead on 14 minutes.

A grubber kick was teased through the defence and young scrum-half Lonergan grounded the ball with the try given even though he looked clearly offside.

The golden boot of Will Harrison converted two penalties for the visitors, but they slipped further behind when a deft Tom Cusack cross-field chip was collected by Muirhead for try number two.

Undeterred, the Waratahs kept coming and Jack Dempsey deservedly got their only try after Tom Horton bounced two players out of the way before making a quality offload.

But Canberra is a fortress for the Brumbies and they returned from the break on fire with Samu getting their third try in the corner after a looping Irae Simone pass and Wright adding another soon after.

The game began slipping away from Simmons’ men, and Wright piled on the pain with his second, sprinting 50 metres to the line, before Samu also bagged a double after a rampaging run.

© – AFP, 2020 

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