What did we learn from the Brumbies vs Bulls?
1. Poey’s sixth sense
The Brumbies have missed David Pocock. In his second game back from suspension the openside flanker was back to his breakdown best. His pressure at the breakdown was critical as the clock wound down, epitomised by a 73rd minute ruck in which Pocock made the tackle and got to his feet almost immediately to compete for the turnover. His best backrow mate Scott Fardy finished with a lazy two turnovers too.
2. Cubelli firing
Tomas Cubelli had a slow start to the year with the Brumbies but he is starting to show his brilliance. The halfback was a critical spark for the home side against the Bulls, generating quick play from the ruck. A try from a pick and go was the icing on a super night for the Argentinian halfback, who is beginning to come into his own in Canberra.
3. What to do with Scott Sio?
Scott Sio is struggling to find his best form for the Brumbies as a starting prop. Sio had a mixed night against the Bulls, after giving away two penalties in the scrum. He was effective off the bench against the Highlanders but in 60 minutes on Friday night, he was not at his best. His replacement, Allan Alaalatoa, was again dominant once he came on to the pitch and it wouldn’t surprise to see Sio riding the bench. No doubt the Wallabies will still pick him come June but he will have a fight on his hands for that starting loosehead spot.
4. Going for points
The Brumbies season is on the line and they were taking every points chance on offer in the early stages. While not altogether a move away from a try-oriented mentality, the move to go for the goals within range of the line is one that the Brumbies haven’t been prone to in recent seasons. With the lion’s share of the possession, the Brumbies struggled to cross for tries early but with so much territory leaned on the boot of Christian Lealiifano to put them in front. Two tries after half-time sealed the deal.
5. Brumbies vs Rebels a game changer
The Brumbies are on top of the Aussie conference...for now. The Waratahs have a chance to become the third team to hold the ranking in as many days, but it’s next week when the title will likely be decided. The Brumbies travel down to Melbourne to take on the Rebels, in a match that is potentially going to determine not only the top Aussie side but also the only Australian side that will feature in the finals. At the very least, it will knock one out of the race.