Brumbies vs Sunwolves: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

What did we learn from the Brumbies' domination of the Sunwolves?

1. Brumbies take break

They’ve had a mixed year but with the Test break looming and just three matches left in Super Rugby, the Brumbies are back on top of the Australian sides. They had just one bonus point to their names before this match, but the week they really needed it, they clinched that extra point. With the Reds, Blues and Force to come, the Brumbies are in the box seat to hang on to that spot. A couple more 10 try performances won’t hurt that.

2. Dowsett proves a point

His understudy was picked in the Wallabies squad this week, but it was Michael Dowsett who had first chance to impress at scrumhalf on Saturday night. And the number nine was superb, scoring a first half try, and showing his talent in a dominant Brumbies win. There’s no shortage of depth in that spot at the Brumbies and if a Wallabies bolter helps boost that competition, that can only mean more good things.

3. Lealiifano the perfect foil

Christian Lealiifano has surely played his way into the Wallabies 23. There are no guarantees in a Michael Cheika-run side and Lealiifano will have to prove himself in a brutal camp, but he has done everything possible so far this season. His ability to fill a second playmaker type role fits with the Wallabies’ style under Cheika’s reign. Aside from just his playing style, though, the man is in super form. He deserves a shot at translating that into Tests.


4. Brumbies’ next generation

Stephen Larkham took the opportunity to rest some of his top liners against the Sunwolves. Tomas Cubelli was left out of the match altogether, while he made substitutions much earlier than usual. It mattered little, though, with his young brigade taking the mantle with ease. James Dargaville, who has filled wing and inside centre in recent weeks, is growing in stature with every match, while inside back Jordan Jackson-Hope added a try to his Super Rugby tally three days out from leaving for the U20s World Championship. We all know the wraps replacement scrumhalf Joe Powell has on his name after his Wallabies inclusion, but Larkham is really bringing his rookies through brilliantly.

5. Yamada can finish

They only got one try but there’s no prizes for guessing who managed to cross for the Sunwolves. Akihito Yamada took only a few minutes to cross after coming on late in the second half. He leads the competition with nine tries to his name this season. If the Sunwolves can improve their delivery, they at least know they can rely on a super finisher.