The talking points: finals week one

by staff

What a win for the Brumbies in Cape Town! Twenty-point victors over the South African Conference Champions, now they’ll face the Hurricanes in Wellington.

But here are ‘The Talking Points’

1. Speight sees red

It will hang over the Brumbies all week, a red card for a dangerous tackle with just six minutes left in the game. Speight got a ruck clean-out all wrong as he lifted and twisted Juan de Jongh. SANZAR is expected to come down hard at the hearing on Tuesday afternoon, especially considering referee Jaco Peyper said “we have a responsibility to get that sort of tackle out of rugby” to Speight on field.

2. Tomane triple

A much better night for fellow winger Joe Tomane with a first half hat-trick tearing the Stormers apart. Tomane showed the speed and power that had him as a Wallabies’ certainty just two years ago. His second try of the night was especially brilliant, as he fended off his opposite winger before flying down the sideline to score. The treble will come as a huge confidence boost for the 25-year old, who now moves to fourth in the Super Rugby try scoring table for 2015.

3. No one trick pony

So much of the pre-match talk and analysis was dominated by the Brumbies’ rolling maul success but none of it eventuated against the Stormers. The men from Canberra dotting down for six tries away from home and David Pocock wasn’t amongst them! The Brumbies will need all the variety they can muster against the Hurricanes who boasted the second best attack in the regular season, as well as the second best defence.

4. Fardy’s fine form

With Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger both missing, the Brumbies had the chance to assert themselves and that’s exactly what Scott Fardy did. He was immense at the breakdown all night, working in tandem with David Pocock who showed no ill-effects from concussion the week prior. Fardy did earn himself a second-half yellow card for cynical side entry to a maul but the job was already done by the physical Brumbies pack.

5. Toomua to warm into it

He was a late call-up to the starting side after initially named on the bench and while Matt Toomua will be better for the run, he was a bit rusty. He copped a head knock early and went down the tunnel for a concussion test, only to return minutes later. The 25-year old also threw a no-look intercept for Cheslin Kolbe to race away but in fairness to him, he was strong in defence.