Lions vs Brumbies: Five things we learned

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies missed out on the points in Johannesburg.

What are we talking about after the 42-24 loss?

1. Brumbies determined but ill-disciplined

The Brumbies threw everything at the Lions on Saturday night, but they were their own worst enemy in the end. A 10-minute period where they were down to 13 men, after a red card for Rory Arnold and yellow for Sam Carter, proved their undoing against the Lions, who scored three tries in the final 20 minutes.  They finished on the wrong end of a 20-9 penalty count and that will be a frustrating finish in another game they really could have won.

2. Another Valetini setback

Rob Valetini will play for the Brumbies this weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesThe sight of Rob Valetini limping off in the dying minutes of the match will have the Brumbies and Junior Wallabies sweating. The backrower was set to link up with Australia’s U20s side for the World U20s Championships next week, but that seems unlikely now. Valetini only returned from an earlier knee injury last week, against the Rebels, and he appears in for another frustrating setback.

3. Faingaa fights hard

Brumbies back-up hooker Robbie Abel was a late withdrawal from their team on Sunday morning, putting a heap of pressure on starter Folau Faingaa. With only two hookers in their touring squad, prop Les Makin had to come into the matchday 23. Faingaa played the full 80 at hooker and set the tone defensively for most of the night, finishing with 16 tackles. He’s already on Michael Cheika’s radar and this display certainly won’t have hurt his chances.

4. Banks is a finisher

Tom Banks has had a patchy 2018, but he was in red-hot form whenever the try line was near in Johannesburg. It took the fullback just 65 seconds to score the Brumbies’ first, and the youngster put them back in the lead in the 52nd minute with his second.

5.Bizarre end to broadcast

Fans have seen plenty of fire on the field, but there were sparks flying post-match in South Africa’s Super Sports wrap. Commentator and former Springboks winger Ashwin Willemse walked off the live broadcast post-match, fuming that his colleagues were being condescending to him. Though it’s unclear exactly what sparked the walk off, it certainly had viewers bewildered after the match.