Kings vs Brumbies: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
by staff

What did we learn from the Brumbies' narrow 19-10 win over the Southern Kings?

1. That monkey, sorry gorilla, is off our backs

It’s taken 13 rounds of Super Rugby in 2017 but finally, finally an Australian team has won in South Africa. 

It was certainly a bit of hairy and ugly beast but the Brumbies will grab that victory and move on to a challenge that may well be a bit more suited to their way of playing in Buenos Aires against the Jaguars.

With the wealth of possession they had - 66 percent by game’s end - the Brumbies should have been able to create a lot more opportunities but this Kings side is playing with great passion and skill.

2. Rory’s ready to roar . . .

Wallabies lock Rory Arnold was one of the Brumbies better performers against the Kings and looks to be coming into some sort of form as the June Series looms.

Arnold’s lineout work was crisp, he carried there ball well and his work in defence was right up there.

He’s an important part of the Wallaby team’s spine and to have him in this sort of form at this time of the year is great news for coach Michael Cheika.

But don’t discount the chances of his Brumbies locking partner and skipper Sam Carter, whose workrate against the Kings was pretty damn good.

3. There is life in Port Elizabeth

If you thought Australian Rugby authorities had a tough decision to make in the lead in to the 2018 Super Rugby season well consider the plight of the South Africans.

Since the call was officially made to cull Super Rugby to 15 teams next year, the Kings have been playing out of their skins.

Up until Sunday’s game against the Brumbies, they had won three on the trot but it wasn’t just the results that have been impressing.

They have played with great endeavour, Nelson Mandella Bay Stadium was packed and noisy,  and four of their stars headed by skipper Lionel Cronje have been invited into the Springbok training camp in the lead-in to their June Series against France where they will play three Tests.

4. Speight in form at right time

Henry Speight can drift in and out of games but he was having none of that against the Kings on Sunday.

He clocked up 64 metres will the ball in hand through eight carries and on top of that managed to keep the Kings danger men on the edges - Alshaun Bock and Makazole Mapimpi - relatively quiet.

Sevens was his main focus in 2016 but as this season matures he seems to be coming to terms with the intricacies that the 15-man game throws up.

The Wallabies need a tackle-busting bloke with real gas and that’s what Speight at his best can provide!

5. 'Big Ben' chasing a record

Ben Alexander is closing in on a very special record after his effort against the Kings on Sunday. 

'Big Ben' will equal George Smith record of number of Super Rugby games for the Brumbies (142 appearances) if he gets on the field against the Jaguars next weekend in Buenos Aires.

Then if he is fit and well and selected he will break the mark when the Brumbies take one the Melbourne Rebels at home on Saturday June 3.

No prizes if you reckon that the Brumbies marketing department will be giving away Ben Alexander face masks with their match program for that game.