Brumbies vs Crusaders: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

What are we talking about after the Brumbies' big loss to the Crusaders? 

1. Aussie conference heating up

Ask anyone who the best Aussie Super Rugby side is and, barring sentimentality ,you’d reckon they’d say the Brumbies. Well, according to the ladder they are no longer the form Aussie side in the competition. Their loss to the Crusaders, stretched their losing streak against the side, and put them in second place in the Australian conference. Given New Zealand’s dominance this season, the result has put the Brumbies a spot out of the wildcard positions as well.

The Rebels are on the right track culturally. Photo: Getty Images

2. Hot potato

There’s no such thing as a dead footy. The Crusaders showed this in spades against the Brumbies, looking to offload wherever possible. Nemani Nadolo set up  the Crusaders’ third try in the 21st minute with a long pass on his way down in a tackle.The Brumbies tried their hand at it as well and a string of strong attacking passes set up Robbie Coleman for their only try of the half.

3. Basic errors

Any time the Brumbies found themselves in a position of advantage, they coughed their edge up. Lost balls, fumbles, missed tackles handed Crusaders tries and field position time and time again. Mistakes were coming from some of their most reliable as well, with  dependable blindside Scott Fardy who handed over a turnover to Jone Macilai-Tori.

4. No, no, no Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo is an absolute beast and while pondering sliding doors moments is unnecessary, it could pain plenty to watch him tearing it up for the Crusaders. The Fiji international wouldn’t have been a Test prospect for the Wallabies but the Brisbane-born talent who was once contracted to the Waratahs could easily have stayed on this side of the ditch and been a force for Aussie sides.

Brothers Allan Alaalatoa and Mike Alaalatoa on opposite sides and countries. Photo: Getty Images

5. Family affair

Michael and Allan Alaalatoa scrummed against each other for the first time in the 57th minute. Michael gave himself a little chest pump and the pair packed down for a slice of trivia history. A horde of Alaalatoa relatives were watching on on in the crowd, ready to split their duties between celebration and commiseration. Let's not mention the other familial battle, between cousins Tevita Kuridrani and Nemani Nadolo, a clash that was a little more onesided.